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Cell's Snfrtan anfr Colonial OLtbrarg, 







Author of " 7^*? JS'ar/j/ COA/ ^ Qtieen Victoria."'' 

" Alexandrina Victoria Fidei, 
Hm hm how runs the jargon ? being on the throne." 









THE married life of an individual predicates a 
second individual, and this volume is as much a con- 
sideration of the character of the Prince Consort as of 
that of Queen Victoria. Though in his youth he pro- 
fessed liberal tendencies, the Prince was a strong up- 
holder of Monarchy, and resisted with all his strength 
anything that he considered an encroachment on the 
powers of the Crown. He went further, for his life in 
England was, on one side of it, a long attempt to put 
back the hands of the clock and reinstate authority 
which had already been delegated to Parliament. 

Had the Prince lived long, the history of England 
would have been very different from what it is, for 
either our Parliament would have succumbed to his 
ideals, and England would have become reactionary, 
or the struggle between the people and the Crown 
would have ended in the abolition of the Monarchy; 
and it is not difficult to believe which part the English 
people would have chosen in the critical time of thirty 
and forty years ago. 

Furthermore, had the Prince lived there would have 
been no "great" Queen Victoria, for by 1860 the 


Queen had so entirely transferred all work to her 
husband that, excepting as an appearance and a signa- 
ture, the Queen-Regnant may almost be said not to 
have existed a state of things which would eventually 
have had to be acknowledged; it would have been 
upon that point that an English revolution would have 
occurred. However, the Prince was not physically 
strong enough to bear the burden. 

That I have written more fully about the first ten 
years of the "married life" than about the second is 
due to the fact that the Royal pair were more interest- 
ing to the public then than later; they were more 
studied, more thought about, and more written about. 
Later, when they had become a habit, it needed special 
events to raise marked comment. 

It is a curious fact that of Prince Albert only two 
" Lives " have been written : the five-volume work by 
Sir Theodore Martin, and " The Early Years of the 
Prince Consort," by the Hon. C. Grey both written 
by command of Queen Victoria, to both of which she 
supplied all personal matter, and both of which were 
therefore essentially her books. Among recently 
published volumes I have found Mr. Edmund B. 
d'Auvergne's work on " The Coburgs " helpful. 

To my friend, Mr. A. M. Broadley, I must acknow- 
ledge my great gratitude for allowing me to make use 
of his fine library, and of selecting from his valuable 
collection of prints the illustrations to this volume. 

C. T. 

January, 1913. 



THE YOUNG PRINCE ....... 21 





THE QUEEN AND Louis PHILIPPE . . . . .162 



THE QUEEN'S HOMES ....... 218 









Queen Victoria. (From a painting by Winterhalter) . Frontispiece 

* Queen Victoria To face page 22 

Sarah, Lady Lyttelton. (From a pastel by Swinton in 

the possession of Viscount Cobham) ... 60 

*H. R. H. Prince Albert. (From a painting by Sir 

W. C. Ross, R.A.) 96 

*" Light Sovereigns." (From an old political sketch) . 122 

Lord George Bentinck 134 

Lady Jocelyn. (From a painting by J. Hayter) . 146 

* Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in Fancy Dress . 150 

The Emperor Nicholas I of Russia 184 

Benjamin Disraeli 198 

Lord Palmerston. (From a painting by John Partridge 

in the National Gallery) 212 

* H.R.H. Prince Albert in the Insignia of the Order 

of the Garter 244 

* One of Queen Victoria's Etchings 274 

Lord John Russell. (From a painting by Sir Francis 

Grant, P.R.A., in the National Portrait Gallery) . 296 

The Marchioness of Douro. (From a painting by 

J. Hayter) ... 342 

H.R.H. The Princess Royal at the time of her Marriage. 

(From a painting by Winterhalter) ... 378 

H.R.H. The Prince of Wales at the age of seventeen . 388 

N.B. The illustrations marked with an asterisk (*) are reproduced from 
prints in the collection of Mr. A. M. Broadley, 




WHEN Queen Victoria and Prince Albert married 
in 1840 the formula "they lived happily ever after- 
wards" might have been uttered about them, for 
"ever afterwards" implies but "while life lasts." 
In spite of her autocratic bearing, she was by nature 
both simple and plastic, and while she would certainly 
have resented any attempt to force her choice, she yet 
yielded unconsciously to steady half-hidden pressure. 
It was no secret that her impressionable youth had re- 
sponded to the admiration which had been offered by 
Lord Elphinstone ; and Lord Alfred Paget who was 
reported to be so much in love with her that he not 
only wore the portrait of her round his neck, but 
tied another round the neck of his dog was always 
a person to be considered in her Majesty's mind. But 



as it was impossible for her to marry either of these, 
and as all other princely suitors had been dismissed 
by her mother and uncle Leopold, and as matters had 
been so worked that all Europe regarded Albert as 
the man of her choice, there was nothing for Queen 
Victoria to do but definitely to declare her mind. In 
the summer of 1839 she did this by refusing a second 
time to consider for some years to come a marriage 
with her cousin, upon which Leopold made plans 
which would ensure a visit from the Prince to England 
in October, when the young Queen would have few 
Parliamentary, State, or social distractions. It was 
the last resource, for if the hesitating girl failed to be 
won by Albert's personal appearance and address, she 
would not be won at all. Three and a half years had 
passed since the cousins had met, and those years had 
made a great difference in the Prince; from being a 
short, fat boy he had grown into a fairly tall man, 
superfluous tissue had disappeared, and his delicate 
profile had gained from the change. So he came and 
saw or was seen and conquered, and for nearly 
twenty-two years after was one of the hardest-worked 
men in England. 

Much has been said about the marrying Coburgs, 
those young men and women who at that period were 
being dispersed over Europe, as Kings, Consorts or 
rulers of small countries. It was a subject which was 
returned to every time the Prince had the misfortune 
to get talked about in England ; I say misfortune, for 
the people scarcely ever talked of him excepting to 
grumble; when they pretended to praise an antidote 


was always administered, as in the following para- 
graph from a provincial paper : " Prince Albert is a 
prince respected and to be respected for all his con- 
duct since he came among us. But, besides and 
beyond him, we see Coburgs in France! Coburgs in 
Belgium ! Coburgs in Portugal ! and we verily believe 
that if the billionaires among the children of Israel 
should buy Jerusalem and all the land about Jordan, 
we should doubtless see all the machinery of diplo- 
macy instantly at work with a Coburg King of the 

But though there may be a certain dignity in sitting 
on the apex of any social structure, it is scarcely a 
comfortable position; Ferdinand of Portugal was in 
trouble with the country of his adoption for a quarter 
of a century, mostly through his determination to be 
the Commander-in-Chief of its army; King Leopold 
of the Belgians spent as much time as possible out 
of his kingdom, causing his niece anxiously and often 
to remonstrate with him; and Prince Albert took his 
position with such immense seriousness that, while 
still a young man, he had worn out his very desire to 

It is curious that we know so much and yet so little 
of the twenty-two years of married life which Albert 
and Victoria spent together. There are numberless 
letters on public affairs, numberless accounts of 
journeys to north or south, anecdotes galore about 
cottagers at Balmoral or Osborne the Windsor 
cottagers were not popular many complaints of the 
uncourtly ways of Lord Palmerston, "who has em- 

B 2 


bitlered all our life," and a whole album of opinions 
upon the moral perfection of Prince Albert. But 
with all this we know very little of the Palace domes- 
ticity excepting the Queen's saying : " I will venture 
to say that not only no Royal menage is to be found 
equal to ours, but no other menage is to be compared 
to ours"; and we are never given a real conception of 
Albert's character, for his character has been buried 
deeply under words, words, and yet more words. The 
frantic endeavour to canonise him led to a deliberate 
suppression of any knowledge about one side of his 
personality, and of the other what was told of him was 
so overlaid with sentiment that it is difficult to know 
what is and what is not real. It is true that there are 
still rare books and pamphlets extant, the production 
of which caused much annoyance in the Royal 
bosoms, so much annoyance that great efforts were 
made to suppress or buy them up; but these dealt 
only with isolated incidents affecting subjects, in 
which some injustice was felt to have been inflicted; 
they had nothing to do with the life in the Palace. 
If Prince Albert was the extraordinarily brilliant man, 
mentally, that so many have agreed in thinking him, 
why is it that of him only one Life has been written 
and one partial Life extending merely to his marriage, 
both of which books were inspired by Queen Victoria 
and annotated by her? The reason probably is that 
no one would have dared to write of the Prince as a 
real man in the Queen's lifetime, for she would cer- 
tainly have set her face against such a publication. 
And she lived so many years beyond him, and held 


him up so long to her subjects as such a wonderful 
pattern of infallibility, that public sentiment was 
divided between happy forgetfulness of the dead 
man's existence and a peevish distaste for the person 
they were asked to regard as the Prince Consort. It 
might perhaps be said that for all ordinary purposes 
to-day there either is no Prince Albert at all or there 
are two Prince Alberts. 

On the one hand we have a Prince who never did 
wrong, a wise, kind, loving boy and man, assiduous at 
work, devoted domestically, pious in aspiration, and 
pure in every way. Indeed, such emphasis is laid upon 
his purity of habit, of thought, and of will, that those 
who read might excusably weary of the refrain were it 
not that purity of any sort must have shone like a 
beacon light variously appreciated in a period 
immediately succeeding that of the Hanoverian Kings. 

In this description there is an ideal, an impossible 
perfection, but there is no man; being human, we do 
not believe in human perfection ; it is a reproach to us 
personally and collectively; we feel abashed, for we 
know our own faults and weaknesses; and then we 
save our self-respect by asserting and with reason 
that we have been deceived. In place of a human 
being we are shown a light, and told that we must call 
it Albert the Good, and, indeed, that we should not 
be far wrong if we regarded it also as a saint. Well, 
that is the way that saints are made. If we knew the 
real life of Edward the Confessor it is fairly certain 
that our regard for him as a saint would be evaporated 
by our laughter at the idea. 


The other side of the picture is the exact reverse. 
It was drawn during the Prince's life by those people 
who perhaps were not pure in heart by those who 
considered it an affront that any young man from 
another country an inferior country filled with 
" beggarly princes," for Germany was but a confedera- 
tion then should dare to prove definitely to English 
nobles of high degree that it was easily possible to 
live without debasement, to drink without getting 
drunk, to use money without squandering it, to have 
intellectual rather than fleshly tastes. Poor Prince 
Albert ! This second picture shows him possessed of 
every little, insignificant fault, apart from personal 
impurity and excess. He was mean, he was an Anglo- 
phobe only the word itself had not been invented 
then he was a traitor, playing into the hands of 
Russia and Germany; he influenced the Queen to her 
people's detriment; he was worthy of no better fate 
than the Tower and the axe. More than once 
a howl of execration over him rolled from one end 
of England to the other, and the echoes of it still 
linger, though it was first heard more than sixty years 

But this impression is no more true than the other. 
The Prince Consort was not guilty of the offences 
laid to his charge any more than he was guilty of 
possessing all the saintly virtues. Somewhere be- 
tween these two extremes was the man himself; but 
he has been lost, smothered under Queenly senti- 
ment, shut off by Princely reserve. The curious 
thing is that Albert himself was partly responsible for 


destroying his own personality he voluntarily turned 
to the public a blank surface. He said, literally : 
" My life is my own, and it is a private thing ; you, you 
curious public, have no right to know anything about 
me or about my home. I have a right to know all 
about you, but you are overstepping propriety when 
you desire to know anything about me. In my 
country, through the police and by other means, we 
at Court know everything about everybody. Here 
you have the impertinence to reverse that custom; I 
can get to know nothing of you, but you tempt the 
servants in my house to become reporters that you 
may see in print all the things I do." 

The Prince went further : he made the members of 
his household promise most solemnly that they would 
never repeat anywhere any account of the things they 
heard or saw in the Royal Household, while Ladies and 
Maids were on their honour not to keep diaries. These 
promises were kept most loyally. And the result of 
it all was that the Prince helped to annihilate himself. 
It is like standing at the end of a narrow avenue of 
poplars, say, the abele poplar so beloved by the 
Prince and looking for a procession to advance. 
There are the two rows of trees, one in sunshine, one 
all shade ; but there is no moving life, there is nothing 
but the trees. Standing there, is it possible to see the 
procession mentally, to make its different parts live 
and walk, take on their motley colours, sparkling with 
jewels which shine the brighter for the dark velvets 
that form their background? It may perhaps be 
possible to recover some presentation of it, but the real 


procession, which has vanished, is not easy to bring 
again into the light of reality. 

There are still living those who knew the Prince, or 
who lived in the circle of which he had been the centre, 
and who believe that the ways of the Court sixty years 
ago were sacrosanct people who, if the Prince is 
mentioned, will echo all the opinions about him 
which Queen Victoria, with much assiduity, taught her 
people to repeat. After them comes the next genera- 
tion, who, having heard all the mischievous stories, 
and not having had the courage to read Sir Theodore 
Martin's five huge volumes on the Prince, are inclined 
to believe the mean things and yet to think he must 
have been passable because the Queen grieved so long 
for him. As for the younger generation, those who, tired 
of pretence, energetically demand, in the words of 
Ibsen, " My castle on the table, Mr. Solness, my castle 
on the table," they are busily engaged in looking for- 
ward; to them a study of the past is necessary for an 
understanding of the future. They do not believe in 
human perfection, and is it likely that they will accept 
and admire the Prince Consort as a kind of iholy 
guardian angel to the Queen? Will they have 
patience with the blaze of regretful adulation which 
shone over his tomb ? Will they not rather say, " This 
is all overdone, he must have had a fault or two; but 
anyway he appears to have been so dull that he is not 
interesting ! " The popularity of guardian angels 
has passed, with many other childlike beliefs; we want 
a reality in their place. 

What was the Prince afraid of when he enforced 


this peculiar reticence about his doings? Was it 
that he dreaded criticism, or was it simply the out- 
come of an abnormally reserved character? That 
the Royal household was not such an eternal abode of 
peace as it has always been described it is but in 
human nature to suspect; and, again, it is not easy 
to believe that a person brought up with such undue 
severity as was little Princess Victoria would give her 
own children unvarying indulgence; so it is open to 
surmise that the childish days of King Edward and 
his brothers and sisters were shaken by occasional 
troubles. But things like these would not be sufficient 
reason for locking all the gates and doors and drawing 
down the blinds. The reason could only have been 
partly attributable to character; the rest must nave 
been caused by circumstance. 

As far as these causes go, it is worth while to refer 
slightly to the Prince's young life. 

Though, during all his existence in England, Prince 
Albert was regarded as of no great origin, he was a 
descendant of a house which was both powerful and 
famous in the tenth century the house of Wetten, 
which later became divided into two branches, the 
Ernestine and the Albertine. Albert and his brother 
Ernest belonged to the elder, or Ernestine, branch. 
During later centuries wealth was not a great attribute 
of this family, for each descendant took his share of 
the family possessions, and the Duke of Coburg, 
father of the two boys, was anything but rich. There 
is no position which leads so quickly to reticence as an 
inadequate income. Who of us under a reverse would 


. /x 


$ : Hri v 


explain to the world in general that it behoves us to 
be homely, domestic, economical? Who would wish 
to set common gossip going about the piecing and 
patching, the napery of darns and holes, the cheap 
cigarettes, and the enforced avoidance of wine ? No ; 
most of us Hide all those things, and feel annoyed with 
the person who betrays them. Thus it is with a Duke 
of high degree. That his ancestral castle is small and 
understaffed with servants, that his income is almost 
trivial compared with his position, are things that he 
must perhaps endure; but he does not want them 
talked about. 

The Saxes, the descendants of the Ernestine branch, 
were distinguished for their half incomes and double 
names, and early in last century there were and 
with one exception still are the reigning Dukes 
of Saxe-Meiningen, of Saxe-Weimar, of Saxe-Alten- 
burg, of Saxe-Coburg, and of Saxe-Gotha. The last 
two became united in the person of Albert's father. 
All the children of all these Dukes had the right 
to the title of Duke or Duchess, which habit 
forms a really intricate puzzle for the student of 
the history of what might be called the German 

Thus it was evidently out of the question that the 
increasing total of Dukes and Duchesses could have 
incomes corresponding with their titles. The Princes 
Ernest and Albert were comparatively well off, their 
father becoming eventually the head of the Ernestine 
branch, and the possessor of at least four houses; yet 
before his marriage Prince Albert's income was only 


between two and three thousand a year, a very small 
sum upon which to keep up any princely state. While 
England was discussing the probability of the Guelph- 
Coburg marriage I would not dare say the Coburg- 
Guelph, for with all her expressed love for her hus- 
band Queen Victoria was extremely tenacious of the 
superiority of her position over his by birth- 
England's aristocracy and the English public were 
unwearied in discussing its suitability, and the whole 
little array of items of the Prince's income were known 
to all. Before that, when curiosity about him was 
rife, when as a student he was staying with his brother 
in Brussels, the failure of their very careful uncle 
Leopold to offer them hospitality, the place they 
lodged in, the amount paid for it and for their board, 
all petty and unimportant details were published by 
our delightful newspapers as good morsels for the 
daws to peck at. Thus before Prince Albert arrived in 
England it was decided that a youth who had had so 
little money to play with could not expect to be treated 
in the same way as all the other consorts, male and 
female, of royalty, and the whole matter was threshed 
out in Parliament in a way which made the poor young 
man exclaim, " But the indignity the indignity of 

These remarkably frank discussions were accom- 
panied in the. Press and in the streets by such pretty 

verses as 

" Quoth Hudibras of old, ' a thing 
Is worth as much as it will bring. ' 
How comes it then that Albert clear 
Has thirty thousand pounds a year? " 


Constantly in the papers of the time were to be 
found little two or three line paragraphs such as : " We 
have heard much said about the dear men, but if the 
wishes of Victoria towards her husband were to be 
carried out, he might prove the dearest man in the 

The broadsides about the marriage would contain 
a dozen or less verses, generally badly written, but all 
betraying a slighting attitude towards the Prince, 
generated and fostered by the action of the Duke of 
Wellington and Sir Robert Peel in the two Houses 
Here is a verse from one : 

" She says when we are wed, 

I must not dare to tease her, 
But strive both day and night, 

All e'er I can to please her; 
I told her I would do 

For her all I was able, 
And wher she had a son, 

I would sit and rock the cradle. " 

Prince Albert had need of all his dignity to enable 
him to bear with equanimity everything that was said 
or written about him. Of course, reasons were given 
for offering ,21,000 or .30,000 which were the two 
sums named in Parliament in place of the ^50,000 
which Queen Anne's husband, the queen-consorts 
except those who had more, and Prince Leopold, had 
received; but, good as the reasons sounded, none of 
them was real. The whole fight came from a desire 
on the part of the scorned and flouted Tories Tory 
was then the correct word, and not a term of reproach 
to be revenged on the young Queen. It was part 


of a plan arranged by Peel with the concurrence of 
the Duke of Wellington the man who prided him- 
self on loyalty to the Crown whatever happened 
which it was hoped would bring the fall of the Whig 
Government within sight. Those who felt any 
scruples in the matter smoothed them away with the 
remembrance that the Prince was but a poor Prince, 
and with the supposition that 30,000 would seem 
like a fortune to him. Of course, the extreme 
economists, then known as Radicals, led by Joseph 
Hume, who voted with their enemies the Tories, did 
it from the standpoint that the Prince when he was 
the Queen's husband had really no need of an income 
at all, he would just be taken in and done for; there- 
fore they argued that with so much poverty in the 
City it would be criminal to vote him a penny more 
than would give him clothes and pocket-money. 

How far is the cynical saying true or untrue, that 
to be insulted through the purse is to endure the 
deadliest insult of all? I imagine that it is nearer 
fact than idealists will allow. Certain it is that the 
Parliamentary squabble about the Prince's religion did 
not make on his mind such a lasting impression as 
that concerning his income. The assertion that he 
was a Catholic, and therefore not eligible as a husband 
for an English Queen, was the first move in the Peel- 
Wellington arrangement; and though the assertion 
was preposterous, though everyone knew that it was 
a lie, the disaffected party, helped by the extremists, 
gaily played up to their leaders, and gave Albert a 
good reason for being prejudiced, before his arrival, 


against those very men of whom he was likely to see 
most when settled at the Palace. So keenly did he 
feel it that, although he never showed resentment, Jhe 
said, when writing to his friend Baron Stockmar 
fourteen years later : " Peel cut down piy income, 
Wellington refused me rank, the Royal family cried 
out against the foreign interloper, the Whigs in office 
were only inclined to concede me just so much space 
as I could stand upon. The Constitution is silent as 
to the Consort of the Queen ; even Blackstone ignores 
him ; and yet there he was, and not to be done without." 

Parallel at that time with the keen Tory feeling 
against the girl-Queen ran a more general dislike to 
the Coburg family, a dislike which became active 
through resentment that this family should be so 
generally successful in life, and which was helped 
by the prejudice against Leopold and the suspicion as 
to the political leanings of the Duchess of Kent. 

Leopold when in England had been a most 
dandified person, regarding himself, as he said, as de 
la fleur des Pois of good manners. By his superior 
airs, by his keen business instincts, and by his deadly 
lack of humour, he had managed to get disliked by 
everyone. He said one day reprovingly to some 
gay speech of his second wife, Louise of France, " Pas 
de propos legers, Madame !" which in ordinary 
English might be translated " No jokes ! " And it is 
doubtful whether his Queen, who became so beauti- 
* fully mild and sad, ever uttered another joke while 
she lived. The Tories hated him for his superiority, 
and they bitterly resented the somewhat harmless 


Whig intrigues of the Duchess; so when a third 
Coburg was brought to dominate their society, he was 
flagellated unmercifully. 

All these things may have combined to set the 
Prince against the English people, and make him 
desire a privacy which few great people can enjoy, 
one which, in fact, is more or less impossible to those 
who live under limelight. But there was another 
thing. The English people are accredited with a 
reserved character which can only be outmatched by 
the Germans. This may be true, but whatever reserve 
they feel about their own concerns, they show little 
about the concerns of others, and for years Prince 
Albert was made the butt of the ribald Press, not so 
much of newspapers as of the broadsides and the 
caricaturists. The great caricaturists, such as H. B., 
Leech, H. H., and others, were sometimes unkind, 
but never vulgar; below them came a multitude of 
pencil men who depicted the Royal couple in badly 
drawn and crude cartoons, seizing upon some real 
characteristic and making it food for the mirth of the 
streets. Nothing escaped them, and the terror of this 
was that there was always just so much truth in the 
gibe as would make it sting. The very fact that the 
Prince wanted his castle to be so guarded that its 
inside should be unknown to the world, made jour- 
nalists and others doubly anxious to penetrate its 
secrets, and so a more than usually alert eye was kept 
upon Palace doings, and if anything could be found 
wrong it straightway appeared in the papers. This 
became unbearable to the Prince, and led, on more 


than one occasion, to acts of injustice and oppression, 
and also made him demand that solemn promise of 
secrecy from anyone who could by chance know 
anything of his private acts. 

An older man Albert was not twenty-one when he 
married would have probably been more robust, and 
met his troubles with greater success, but he never was 
able to break down the barrier which his entry into 
England built up between him and the English people, 
for England was fast drifting towards democracy, 
and he, though liberal-minded for a ruler, clung 
tenaciously to the ancient rights of the Crown. 

Why is it that, putting aside all question of time, 
King Edward VII. was nearly all his life more 
popular than his father ? No one can attempt to prove 
that he, as a young Prince, complied with his parents 5 
demand for purity. He got into amorous scrapes 
before he left college; he gambled at cards to such 
an extent that he figured in a notorious baccarat case ; 
he gambled on the racecourse and took to debt almost 
as easily as the fourth of the Georges. The fast folk 
of the land applauded him; the clean-minded vowed 
that he should never be king ; and the pious pretended 
that things were exaggerated, and that their loyalty 
demanded that they should believe that a man in such 
a position could do no wrong. 

Prince Albert neither philandered, gambled, nor 
played cards. He was so sensitive concerning public 
opinion that he was never known to go out alone, 
wherever and however he went an equerry accom- 
panying him. He refused to pay visits in general 


society. No fair dame could boast of having given 
his Royal Highness a cup of tea by her quiet fireside, 
and no man could claim that the Prince had done him 
honour by supping with him. He deprived himself 
continuously of the chance of gaining the goodwill of 
those among whom he lived that he might carry out 
one of the missions thrust upon him by his wife, which 
was to maintain and "even raise the character of the 
Court. With this view he knew (or was taught) that 
it was not enough that his own conduct should be in 
truth free from reproach; no shadow of a shade of 
suspicion should, by any possibility, attach to it." And 
then we are told that, "wherever a visit from him 
might advance the real good of the people, there his 
horses might be seen waiting; never at the door of 
mere fashion"; that he loved to ride in London where 
building and improvements were in progress, especially 
if they were for the benefit of the working classes, &c. 
The Queen, of course, regarded this futile form of 
well-doing as a proof of extreme wisdom and virtue, 
though the general sentiment of that day did not 
endorse her opinion. 

Here was a youth of twenty-one from a small 
German State, one who up to his marriage had been 
troubled with no responsibilities, who had been brought 
up in a wholesome, open-air, middle-class way, know- 
ing little of State affairs, and only just becoming 
conscious that politics were important enough to need 
attention. He came from the life of a student at 
Bonn to a regal position in a great Court in the largest 
city of the world, the only link between his student days 


and his new existence being a few months' travelling 
in Italian cities, where he paid far more heed to 
antiquity than to life. 

This self-complacent young man took upon his 
shoulders, or found his shoulders burdened with, the 
gigantic task of teaching a whole foreign nation how 
to live. This, of course, was commendable enough; 
it was akin to all other heroic labours ; he was young 
and enthusiastic, and he set himself to slay the hydra- 
headed dragon of licentiousness. No one would have 
objected to this if he had thought more of the people 
to be saved and less about their sins, but in actual 
fact he showed little real consideration for those 
people; his actions rather betrayed that he was intent 
upon proving in his own person the crude fact that it 
was possible to live without sin, and that he would 
have nothing to do with sinners. So he decided that 
his end could only be gained if he held himself aloof 
socially from everyone. It is as though a man hid 
from wind and rain because he feared a spot of mud, 
and disdained the sun because it causes dust. 

This superior attitude came as a snub to the 
aristocracy, and it is easier to forgive a real injury 
than to forget a snub. In this was another reason 
why to the end of his life there were many who dis- 
liked him, and the public never tired of criticising 
him, laughing at him, and remembering that he did 
not really belong to them. If he could only have lost 
his self-consciousness, have been gracious and friendly 
with all who made or should have made his surround- 
ings, he and the Queen would probably have heard 


nothing of the occasional paroxysms of anger which 
swept the public mind like a fury at the mention of 
his name. For the character of the man in the highest 
place is discussed by all, down to the very lowest. 
Let him get the reputation among those near him for 
geniality, graciousness, and honourable living, and 
those furthest off will know it, and rate him accord- 
ingly, and so accordingly will he be universally beloved 
or disliked. 

Our late King was almost at the other extreme, for 
he was certainly genial and gracious. Yet when in 
that fulness of time, which was becoming distinctly 
over-ripe, he came to the throne, all alike, the fast 
folk, the clean-minded, and the pious, welcomed him 
with open arms; all that he did was in the public eye 
right ; every sign of foreign amity was put to his credit ; 
all people, Conservative or Liberal, idle man or 
worker, claimed him as their own. He did not try to 
teach, he did not set himself up as an example, and he 
had shown quite plainly many times and oft that he 
did not care what folk thought of him ; and so when, 
after a short reign, he made room for another, the 
public mind was far more sorrowful than when " The 
! Great White Queen 3 ' was laid in her mausoleum. 

A cynic might say that he was loved for his sins, 
but that is not so. He was loved for his kingly manner 
and his kindly heart. Another king, possessing these 
qualities in conjunction with the Prince Consort's 
domestic probity, would have a double chance of 
national popularity. The English nation loved 
Charles II., not for his profligacy, but for his hearty 

C 2 


ways ; the sins were condoned because of his laughing 
face and witty tongue. Were it otherwise, the nation 
should have loved the Prince Regent, which it did 

Queen Victoria thought when things went wrong 
that her beloved was a martyr to a wilfully misunder- 
standing public, whereas he was but suffering the 
natural consequences of a priggishness which was mis- 
takenly regarded as a virtue both by himself and the 
Queen. A man may be a saint and yet be extremely 
popular, so long as he does not lay stress upon his own 
character nor show suspicion of those who make no 
profession of holiness. 

However, if frankness has not been accorded about 
personalities and a household which, if all implication 
be true, was a perfect home of happiness, the records 
of the time give many details, now hidden from the 
reading public under mountains of paper and printer's 
ink; the pencils of those who could see fun every- 
where have left a marvellous pictorial history from 
which to draw conclusions, all that is needed is a 
patience that endureth long for seeking, sifting, and 
translating into words. 



PRINCE ALBERT'S destiny was fixed almost as soon 
as he was born; certainly before he had attained the 
mature age of four years. Up to that time he was a 
baby cared for by nurses, kept in necessary awe by 
his two grandmothers Saxe-Coburg and Saxe-Gotha, 
and spoiled and petted by his beautiful, vivacious, 
wayward mother. The young Duchess, married at 
sixteen, was a little thing, full of the joie de vivre, 
desiring gaiety and laughter; but she had married a 
Coburg, and the Coburgs were chary of fun, puri- 
tanical in life, and careful about money. She found 
relief in parties, balls, theatricals; and an official in 
the Palace named Szymborski in some way influenced 
the mutual relations of the Duke and Duchess. 
Whether he made love to her, or only made mischief 
between the two, her letters do not say ; but the people 
of Coburg insisted upon a dramatic reconciliation 
between the husband and wife, and then stormed 
Szymborski's house, he first taking refuge in the castle 
and then getting out of the country. However, the 
Duchess drove away for ever the next day; so by the 


time little Albert was four, his mother had gone out of 
his life. Then the women nurses were dismissed, and 
there were left the two little boys, their father, a tutor 
who seems to have been also a nurse and attendant, 
and Grandmother Saxe-Coburg in the background, a 
loving, thoughtful woman. But before this exodus the 
nurses had begun to conjure with the name of Cousin 
Victoria. It was not " if you are good you shall have 
some chocolates," but " if you are good you shall marry 
the Queen." 

Queen Victoria must have had some sympathy for 
naughty little children, for she actually allows stories 
of imperfect manners to have a place in the " Early Life 
of the Prince Consort," and one feels some gratitude 
towards the brave tutor who, being invited to send his 
written memories of the Prince, was temerarious 
enough to include warlike incidents, doing it with 
gentle deprecation which yet had a strong tinge of 
admiration in it. 

So whatever Albert grew to in manhood, here we 
learn that as a boy he was wilful and obstinate, and 
that he could scream for hours if it suited his mood. 

Just before he lost the society of his indulgent mother 
she gave a children's fancy dress ball, at which her little 
son, dressed as Cupid, was destined to dance with a 
certain little girl. When it was his turn to move on 
with his partner, nothing would induce him to stir; 
instead, he lifted up his voice and howled, his screams 
echoing through the rooms. At which the Duchess 
exclaimed ironically to her husband, " This comes of 
his good education." 

From a Print in Mr. A. M. Broadley's Collection 


He seems to have found these paroxysms of temper 
and screaming useful in getting his own way, and on 
one occasion, when the noise pierced through all the 
rooms of the castle, the Duke secured a cane, taking 
the precaution of sending the tutor and Ernest out 
for a walk that they might not be distressed by wit- 
nessing the punishment. After some time they went 
back, thinking all would be over, but the sweet Albert 
was still screaming, and the Duke in a most uncom- 
fortable frame of mind was still fingering the cane, 
not having had the heart to use it ! This incident 
somewhat conflicts with the reply the Duke made to 
one who wondered how his children got on without a 
woman about them : " My children cannot mis- 
behave ! " 

Then there is Albert's childish diary to enlighten 
us, written before he was six, and containing such 
entries as 

" I got up well and happy, afterwards I had a fight 
with my brother." ..." I had another fight with my 
brother; that was not right." . . . "We recited, and 
I cried because I could not say my repetition, for I 
had not paid attention. ... I was not allowed to play 
after dinner because I had cried while repeating." 
" I cried at my lesson to-day, because I could not 
find a verb ; and the Rath pinched me, to show me what 
a verb was. I cried about it." 

The Rath might have given a more humane example 
of a verb. But we certainly here get a picture of a nice 
little boy who could be both good and naughty. 

The Queen seems to think it pleasing that this un- 


natural baby felt a great dislike to being in the charge 
of nurses and rejoiced when the change of attendants 
took place; but it is open to question whether, if he 
had been brought up under more natural conditions, 
his life in England would not have been easier. He 
would have been better trained in social manners, and 
he might have been too modest to set himself up as 
the tutor of the public conscience; besides, he could 
scarcely have regarded every woman as a snare to his 
reputation as he did when settled in England. 

However, no one thought of these things, and while 
all those worthy men father, uncle, tutor, and Baron 
Stockmar were seeking round to discover the best 
education which could fit the child and youth to be 
the husband of the Queen of England, they were 
neglecting the great essential good and easy manners. 

As a boy Prince Albert was a sleepy creature, and 
when about ten years of age his one idea after his seven 
o'clock supper was to get to bed. If for some reason 
he could not retire, he would manage to disappear 
into some recess or behind some curtain, and be dis- 
covered later fast asleep. On one occasion royal 
sharer of the Fat Boy's somnolence he not only fell 
asleep at the table, but fell off his chair without 
waking, and went on quietly sleeping on the floor! 

This sleepiness remained with him all his life; as 
a young man he went to bed at nine, and we hear of 
him later gracing parties by his handsome presence 
and placidly sleeping through the music. 

Queen Victoria said that Prince Albert had a 
wonderful sense of humour, that he delighted in telling 


good stories, and in listening to them; but one looks 
in vain for confirmation of this in the two books on his 
life. The only examples given of Princely levity 
show the lowest sort in humour, that of practical joking. 
Thus he once wheedled his tutor into filling a number 
of tiny glass tubes about the size of peas with sul- 
phuretted hydrogen for him, which he threw about the 
floor and boxes of the theatre, to the great annoyance 
and discomfiture of the audience, at which confusion 
he was highly delighted. 

Visitors to his home did not escape his love of playing 
tricks; and one night he filled the cloak pockets of a 
grown-up cousin with soft cheese ! When she was 
leaving, he went with her to the cloak-room, and 
eagerly helped her on with her garment, revelling in 
her horror at the mess, and laughing at her scolding. 
There is little that can be termed humorous or witty 
in such schoolboy tricks, but they are the nearest we 
get to examples of the lighter side of Prince Albert's 

Thus to balance the account of his abounding 
virtues, we may say that he was sometimes obstinate, 
self-willed, and thoughtless of others' comfort; and 
to this may be added that he was by no means averse 
from imposing his own will upon others. His frequent 
fights with his brother did not mean that this elder 
brother persecuted him, but that he himself demanded 
subservience to his will. This fact is told by the tutor, 
but so buried in the words of honeyed praise that, for 
laughter's sake, I reproduce the passage : 

" Surpassing his brother in thoughtful earnestness, in 


calm reflection and self-command, and evincing, at the 
same time, more prudence in action, it was only natural 
that his will should prevail ; and when compliance with 
it was not voluntarily yielded, he was sometimes dis- 
posed to have recourse to compulsion." 

There surely cannot be anywhere a better example 
of courtier-like language. Albert fought his brother 
that he might force him to do something he did not 
like as commonplace boys will sometimes do ; and we 
have the incident worked up into a dissertation upon 
his thoughtful earnestness, his self-command, his calm 
reflection, his prudence ! 

This sort of thing really pleased the Queen ; she 
could not see through it herself, or if she did she did 
not think that her people would see through it. As 
Benjamin Disraeli once said to Mr. G. W. E. Russell : 
" It is true, I am a flatterer. I have found it useful. 
Everyone likes flattery, and when you come to Royalty 
you should lay it on with a trowel" Flattery in lumps 
may bring good immediate results for the person who 
uses it as currency, though it goes bad after a time, 
and does more harm than good. 

It was curious that, seeing how certain everyone was 
of Prince Albert's destiny, more care was not taken to 
teach him English. It was not that he did not learn it, 
but every subject was taught by one man until the boy 
was fifteen, and after that, though he had various 
masters, there is no trace of any Englishman being 
included among his tutors. 

It was not until 1839 that any effort was made to 
rectify this omission, and King Leopold, who then was 


directing his nephew's affairs, sent Albert to travel in 
Italy. One of his companions was Francis Seymour, 
whose regiment was stationed in Ireland, and who, 
going to Brussels on leave, attracted the attention of 
the King. It was just one of those happy meetings in 
which the right person is recognised at first sight, so 
when Lieutenant Seymour should have been going- 
back to Ireland, Leopold used his influence to get an 
extension of leave, and offered him the post of 
attendant upon the Prince, saying, " Your duties are 
to speak and read English with him." 

This engagement was soon ratified, and for the first 
time in his life Albert was allowed to know intimately 
a man from the kingdom over which he believed that 
he would reign, perhaps in name, but anyhow in 

The attraction between the two young men was 
mutual; it lasted through their lives, and the Queen 
paid a compliment to Francis Seymour after the 
Prince's death which was so worded as to be also a 
compliment to the Prince. In that later time when 
the young Lieutenant had become General Sir Francis 
Seymour, and had been Equerry and Groom in Waiting 
for many years, the Queen wrote in the " Early 

" General Seymour was appointed Groom in Waiting 
to the Prince, and is now in the same capacity with 
the Queen. The Prince told the Queen in after years 
how good a young man he was, and how anxious he 
had been to keep everything that was bad or impure 
from approaching him, though, God knows, vice itself 


would ever have recoiled from the look alone of one 
who wore 'the lily of a blameless life 5 ('the white 
flower of a blameless life 5 ); but still it is pleasing to 
record such conduct." 

Constantly in the Queen's books and in the two 
devoted to Prince Albert are these sort of passages to 
be met with, all concerned with the Prince's purity; 
but it should be realised that it was Victoria rather 
than Albert who initiated the " purity-of -the-Court " 
crusade, and that long before she married she had, 
and with justice, grown up in horror of the things she 
heard about the lives of the Guelphs, as well as the 
lives of the European Sovereigns. So she had deter- 
mined that her Court should set a very different 
example. Being very young, very impulsive, and 
relying implicitly upon the advice of the person who 
had most gained her ear, she made the tragic mistake 
which preceded the death of Lady Flora Hastings. 
From that time " the purity of the Court 55 was a phrase 
for the gossips, and more than one broadside dealt 
with the rare atmosphere which was desired at Bucking- 
ham Palace and at Windsor. A little while ago I 
came across a cartoon published just after Her 
Majesty's marriage, which pointed this fact. The 
Royal couple are on their four days 5 honeymoon at 
Windsor, and on the second morning Victoria jumps 
out of bed and begins dressing, not noticing in her 
haste that she has got hold of the wrong garments. 
The Prince, in nightcap and dressing-gown, stands 
looking at her helplessly, saying : 

" But, mein dear ? mein dear, do not de honeymoon 


last a mont' ? and mein luf , you put on mein trousers ! 
You do not mean that yet, do you ? " 

To that the Queen responds, " Am I ? ah ! Well, 
I am resolved to go, so you had better dress and 
prepare. The Purity of my Court is of national 
importance, and without my presence the ladies there 
will have neither example nor precept." 

The Queen's opinions on this subject were so well 
known that it was reflected everywhere for her benefit. 
Those who furnished their recollections of the Prince 
for "The Early Life" laid great stress upon it, 
Stockmar wrote of it, and it appeared in very definite 
form in the letter of congratulation written by Albert's 
brother to Victoria on their engagement. 

The Prince seemed to have lived in an atmosphere 
of adulation all his life, for it was the custom of the 
time for people to belaud their nearest and dearest, 
just as now we laugh at them and offer stimulating 
criticism. To-day a youth of twenty would think his 
brother deserved a punishment lustily inflicted if he 
wrote, as Prince Ernest wrote, thus : 

"One reads less in his face of knowledge of men 
and experience, and why? It is because he is pure 
before the world and before his own conscience. Not 
as though he did not know what sin was the earthly 
temptation the weakness of man. No; but because 
he knew, and still knows, how to struggle against them, 
supported by the incomparable superiority and firm- 
ness of his character ! . . . Albert never knew what 
it was to hesitate. Guided by his own clear sense, 
he always walked calmly and steadily in the right 


path. In the greatest difficulties that may meet you 
in your eventful life, you may repose the most entire 
confidence in him. And then only will you feel how 
great a treasure you possess in him." 

And just at this time Victoria was on her part 
assuring Albert that he might repose the utmost con- 
fidence in her, and in what she planned for him. 

The Prince must always have suffered from a certain 
physical delicacy, for he was never happy either in 
town or in low-lying lands. The air of the woods, the 
breezes of the mountains, would at once remove all 
depression, and Seymour tells how he would exclaim : 
" Ah, now I can breathe ! now I feel that I live ! " as 
soon as he had climbed high above the lowlands. 

Though by the time the tour was over the young 
lieutenant had to return to Ireland, Prince Albert 
cherished the hope that later on he would again be 
able to claim his services in some intimate capacity, 
and when at last the great fact of his marriage was 
arranged, he was keenly anxious to secure Francis 
Seymour as his Secretary. However, Victoria and 
Melbourne had already settled such details, and 
insisted upon the appointment of George Anson to 
that post. So Seymour became a personal attendant, 
groom, and equerry, and was one of those who went 
to Coburg to bring the Prince to England. 

Up to that time Albert was just a pleasant, ordinary, 
somewhat delicate young man. He was not troubled 
by any excess of piety, as the Queen wished us to 
believe, his brother affirming that it was to please the 
English public that Sir Theodore Martin discoursed 


about his natural piety, for the description certainly 
did not fit him. He could swim, skate, fence, use the 
broadsword and rapier, shoot, and ride, but of politics 
he thought very little. His tendencies were towards 
a "natural liberalism," such as would obtain in an 
autocratic State where party politics were unknown. 

It was said of him that he only liked shooting for 
the opportunities it gave him of studying nature, but 
this assertion received no confirmation in his life in 
England, for he seemed to shoot with the very express 
desire of killing. His riding smacked more of the 
school than of the field or the Row, and the way he 
sat his saddle gave many opportunities for chaff and 
unkind remarks when he joined other riders in this 
very superior island. As to the rest, everyone knows 
that he played the piano and the organ ; that he com- 
posed music, little of which has, however, been given 
to the public ; that he sang, drew, painted, etched, and 
liked to dabble in the sciences. He also enjoyed dis- 
cussions in metaphysics and philosophy, and tried his 
hand at literature, writing his Rhine experiences and 
an elaborate treatise on German Thought. As a 
youth he said that life would be very pleasant but for 
its amusements. When his father wanted him to go 
to Carlsbad he was terribly cast down, saying that 
paying attention to ladies was an occupation he par- 
ticularly disliked a not unnatural remark from a 
youth of nineteen, and one which showed him to be 
still in the cub stage. His remark is reminiscent of 
the story told me by Lady Seymour, of how, when in 
Florence at a great assembly, the Prince was eagerly 


discussing some abstruse subject with the blind 
Marquis Capponi, one of the Tuscan aristocracy; and 
the Grand Duke Leopold, standing by Lady Augusta 
Fox, remarked to her : " There is a Prince of whom 
we may be proud. Lovely partners wait for him, 
while he is occupied with the learned." 

In 1837 the Prince spent six weeks in Switzerland, 
and wrote to his cousin Victoria that " he had explored 
every part of that country"; just as later he made 
up his mind to see all that Rome could offer him in 
three weeks. 

On the whole, the Prince's life abroad and in his 
father's duchy contradicts the idea that his morbid 
desire to preserve an impenetrable privacy in England 
had much to do with custom or habit. At his father's 
Palace in Coburg, and at Rosenau, the country house 
where Albert and his brother spent their youth, free 
access was given to the grounds. About two hundred 
yards from Rosenau was a small wirtshaus, which 
was a favourite resort on Sundays for the people of 
Coburg, who could there rest and take their beer or 
coffee, after which their amusement was to stroll all 
over the grounds of Rosenau, for " the system of exclu- 
sion which prevailed with regard to English parks was 
unknown there, and the walks and grounds were at 
all times freely thrown open to those who wished to 
enjoy them." 1 

I notice the same custom mentioned in the account 
of the investiture with the Garter which took place 
at Coburg a few days before the Prince started for 

1 "Early Life." 


England. At the ceremony the Duke sat on his 
throne at the end of the room supported by his sons 
and others. The Duchess, Princesses and Court ladies 
were in boxes on either side, while the back of the room 
was filled by as many people from the town as it 
would hold. 

Albert's spirits were high during his engagement, 
but they fell lower as time went on and as he slowly 
began to understand that England held no recognised 
position for him. A Queen Consort was well under- 
stood, she was head of the Court and was expected 
to exercise a direct influence over the manners of 
society and "over her own sex in particular/ 5 In 
Queen Victoria rested both the Headship of the 
nation and of the Court, for the Prince was allotted 
no place, no work, no influence, nothing but that he 
should be a mate for the Queen. So at first by pin- 
pricks, and later by rough blows, his peculiar position 
was drummed into the young man's mind. He was 
told that he could not quarter his future wife's arms 
with his own ; that in that respect he must stand apart ; 
the Garter King at Arms specialist in the subject 
affirmed it and based his judgment upon the want of 
precedent. But when the Prince, more wide awake 
than himself, asked him what had been done in the 
matter when Leopold married Charlotte, he had to 
admit his mistake and establish Albert's right. 

There was the private refusal by the Queen and 
Melbourne, based upon knowledge of public opinion, 
to make him a peer, and then there were the other 
troubles of income, doubts about his religion and 



precedence, about which I have in an earlier volume 
written at length. And at last he wrote bravely : 

" I will not let my courage fail. With firm resolu- 
tion and true zeal on my part, I cannot fail to continue 
noble, manly and princely in all things." " My future 
lot is high and brilliant, but also painfully strewed 
with thorns. Struggles will not be wanting, and the 
month of March already appears to have storms in 


All English people were glad that the Queen should 
marry. Each party hoped that it would benefit 
materially by such an event, though the Tories both 
hoped most keenly and feared most vividly. If the 
Queen's husband supported her in her anti-Tory policy 
they were ripe for revolution, and many conflicting 
testimonies were offered as to the Prince's leanings; 
but their general feeling was that a nephew of King 
Leopold must be their enemy, and so they did their 
best to frustrate their own hopes by opposing with 
bitter jealousy every advantage Parliament wished to 
offer him. Had he not been a man of such fine calibre 
nothing could have saved the governing class from 
a prolonged and evil struggle. 

The people themselves looked upon the affair with 
more gaiety, and they expended their sense of humour 
in trie circulation of innumerable broadsides, which 
were adorned with the crudest and most highly 
coloured portraits and pictures, sold everywhere for 
a penny, and sung and repeated in the houses, taverns 
and streets. Not one of them but emphasised the 
financial position of the Prince and the popularity of 


the Coburgs in the marriage market. The following 
verse was a great favourite : 

"Vant you a wife, a husband, send 

To Germany, and in a trice 
Coburgs by dozens will contend 

Which shall be yours, at any price ! " 

These two broadsides are amongst the least offensive 
of those published : 

My German purse is loaded now, 

So penniless before, 
And I've a stock of toggery 

I never had before; 
And for a spouse for little Vic, 

John Bull will dearly pay 
Oh ! my heart, my heart is aching 

For our grand wedding day. 

For her I'll shun all other girls, 

For her be sour as kraut 
When Paget or some other sprig 

May try to coax me out. 
With her I'll constant be at church, 

And likewise at the play 
Oh ! my heart, my heart is aching 

For our grand wedding day. 

She's all that Lehzen painted her, 

No Queen is so divine, 
And her heart is not Prince George's 

Because I know it's mine. 
Few have intrigued as Lehzen has 

O'er all she bears the sway; 
Oh ! my heart, my heart is aching 

For our grand wedding day. 

To this the Queen responds : 

We will live and love together, 

Like two young pretty dears ; 
We will laugh at party quarrels, 

And all religious fears. 

D 2 


I shall quickly sack my mother, 

When I am wed to thee; 
Lehzen too must also vanish, 

Else mischief there will be. 

In the second the Prince's version of the National 
Anthem was supposed to run as follows : 

God save sweet Vic, mine Queen 
Long live mine little Queen, 

God save de Queen. 
Albert is victorious; 
De Coburgs now are glorious, 
All so notorious, 

God save the Queen. 

Ah, Melbourne, soon arise 
To get me de supplies 
My means are small. 
Confound Peel's politics, 
Frustrate de Tory tricks, 
At dem now go like bricks, 

God d n dem all. 


The greatest gifts in store 
On me be pleased to pour, 

And let me reign ; 
Mine Vic has vowed to-day 
To honour and obey, 
And I will have de sway 

Albert de King. 

So Prince Albert came to fulfil his inexorable fate. 
However much the people of England laughed and 
sang songs over the marriage, they were ready to 
receive the bridegroom with open arms, and they 
thronged in thousands to Dover to await his coming. 
The first time the Prince journeyed to England he 
was so seasick that he said the voyage had given him 
such a disgust for the sea that he did not like even to 


think of it. And again, when coming to his marriage 
in February, 1840, he was very ill during the crossing, 
so that it was a white-faced youth who gallantly stood 
on the bridge of the steamer and acknowledged the 
shouts of the crowd thronging the piers. From Dover 
to Canterbury, where he stayed a night, and from 
Canterbury to London, he drove to the constant accom- 
paniment of huzzas, which only ended with the kiss 
of his bride in the hall of Buckingham Palace. 

In Lord Broughton's " Recollections," edited by 
Lady Dorchester, occurs the only natural account of 
the marriage that I have seen. Lord Broughton was 
greatly pleased with the Prince's appearance, and says 
that " he was a little embarrassed with his gloves and 
his Prayer-book, and seemed not to know whether he 
ought to bow to the Archbishop of Canterbury and 
the Bishop of London, or to the altar. Queen 
Adelaide talked a good deal to him, and seemed to 
be telling him what to do during the service : so, also, 
did the Duke, his father, a fine-looking man." 

The Queen entered the chapel twenty minutes after 
the Prince, looking "handsome, but pale, and the 
orange-blossoms in her head shook violently. But she 
performed her part with her usual propriety and 
presence of mind, and prompted Prince Albert during 
the reading of the lessons more than once. She once 
beckoned him to approach nearer when he put the 
ring on her finger, and pointed to the finger on which 
the ring was to be put. She pronounced the responses 
in a clear, steady voice, and repeated, ' I, Victoria, 
wed thee, Albert/ in a tone of deep, calm feeling which 


I shall never forget. The Prince also repeated his 
lesson well, but with more emotion than the Queen/* 

The long ceremony being ended, the bride kissed 
the near relations round her, including little Mary of 
Cambridge, and threw a playful smile at Lord Mel- 
bourne, who held the sword of state, after which " The 
Queen and Prince walked down the chapel hand in 
hand, and even then I remarked that Her Majesty 
was obliged to prompt Prince Albert. His Royal 
Highness seemed afraid of being too conspicuous; 
and there was an apparent shyness in his manner which 
he never, so far as I observed, entirely got rid of 
when in the presence of the Queen." 

As in her courtship, so in the early part of her 
marriage, it was evident that the Queen's was the 
dominant mind. While the young Prince was con- 
fused she was calm and self-contained; her voice was 
clear, Albert's shook with emotion; she even showed 
him on which finger to put the wedding-ring; while 
the awkward young man tried to efface himself she 
greeted her friends, then took her husband's hand and 
drew him out of the chapel. Prince Albert was, in 
fact, finding that what one anticipates with such 
brilliant hope, is sometimes spoiled in its fulfilment 
by its strangeness. In many ways this was his experi- 
ence through life. He seemed almost always to give 
in to the Queen and never outwardly bore malice to 
those others who had thrown humiliation over his entry 
into England. But his gentle nature, his studious 
mind, his quiet domestic upbringing, were generally 
destructive of any sustained self-assertion against 


odds, while the impulsiveness, the decisive autocracy 
of the Queen's character made it yet more difficult for 
him to find his feet in this strange land. He was at 
first overawed, uncertain, shaken with that painful 
nervousness which has to be hidden at any cost, and 
of which the outward expression is so often a cold 
reserve. It was years before the nervousness disap- 
peared or the reserve melted, and so at first he 
thoroughly earned the criticism of being stiff, cold, and 
haughty. There can be little wonder that he was so, 
for he was held in the balance unceasingly, every action 
and every word in public being discussed. 

The younger men, who should have stood by him 
and initiated him into English ways and customs, 
jeered among themselves at his failures in small detail, 
and were never tired of the cheap judgment of "what 
can be expected of a German?" There was abso- 
lutely nothing neglected in an unconscious attempt to 
spoil the Prince's chances at the outset, and so 
apparent was this that both he and the Queen were 
for a time more keenly interested in his learning to 
ride like an Englishman she tutoring him in the 
Royal riding school and so gaining the approbation 
of the English, than they were in the important art 
of ruling. 

But, in the exuberance of her desire to do honour 
to her beloved, the Queen had committed a very in- 
judicious act in making him Field Marshal on his 
arrival in England, the appointment being in the 
Gazette two days before the marriage. It was a most 
unpopular appointment with the army, for over the 


heads of tried, long-service men was placed a mere 
boy, a dilettante student who knew nothing of war or 
of army affairs. The Queen may have thought she 
was honouring both the Prince and the army, but the 
latter regarded it as an injustice, and so a barrier was 
raised at the outset between the Prince and his popu- 
larity, and a cry was given to those grumblers who 
during the Crimean War let their indignation rise to 
a mad height. 



THESE two young people, having consummated their 
mutual attraction by marriage, had to pay the penalty 
of Royalty by starting their life together at the wrong 
stage that is to say, that they had after marriage to 
begin to learn each other's natures. There has been 
so much said about the beauty of the love match 
which the Queen made that folk forget that a real 
love match should be based upon something firmer 
than sentiment and ignorance. Excepting at second 
hand, what did Victoria and Albert know of each other 
when they married? Their whole intercourse had 
been limited to two meetings, one lasting for four 
weeks in 1836, and the other occupying a few weeks in 
1839, in the second day of which the engagement took 
place. During the first visit of Albert to England he 
was not quite seventeen, Victoria was three months 
older, a mixture of wilfulness and obedience, one of 
her strongest convictions being of the high sacredness 
of her rank. 

During these two visits both young people were 
naturally "on their good behaviour." What did 


Albert know of Victoria's bursts of passion or of Ker 
capacity for jealousy, and what did she know of his 
immovable obstinacy or of his want of affinity for 
Court life ? These things had to be discovered pain- 
fully and gradually, and, as Albert's brother said, " the 
young pair could not yield to each other." 

At that time no embargo had been placed upon the 
pens or voices of their attendants, so that many 
accounts of domestic friction passed into the world of 
gossip, and there grew up a strong popular opinion 
that the Prince had gained, in vulgar parlance, "the 
grey mare" for a wife. Even before they left Wind- 
sor on February I4th the cartoonists were busy drawing 
pictures to prove first, as we have seen, that the Queen 
intended to " don the breeches," and secondly that the 
Prince had designs on the Crown. Before the first 
month of wedded life was over the Tory Press was 
criticising " the severity of the Queen's domination over 
the Prince Consort." 

As for the other charge, the French newspapers 
styled him Le Roi d'Angleterre> and one English 
picture showed him standing before a long glass 
putting on the Crown, Victoria, surprised and annoyed, 
telling him he must not do that the Crown being hers 
alone, to which he is made to respond that what is hers 
is also his now that they are married. Another satirist, 
after Albert had been appointed regent in case of the 
Queen's death, drew him in shooting costume aiming 
at a crown, saying, " Ah, hah, mein dear ; I shall see if 
I can hit you, though you seem to say, ' I wish you may 
get me. Monsieur Regent." : What the Prince may 


have expected on this point is not told in words, but 
there was certainly continental precedent for his be- 
coming titular King. The husband of Donna Maria 
of Portugal received the title at the birth of their 
second son, and later Prince Francisco of Spain, who 
married his cousin, Isabella, was at once inducted into 
the outward form if not the reality of Kingship. 

The Queen ardently desired that Albert should be 
made King Consort, which caused Melbourne to 
respond impetuously : 

" For God's sake, say no more about it, Ma'am, for 
those who can make Kings can unmake them." 

But the Prince came among us and lived among 
us for seventeen years without any English standing, 
which gave every excuse to the carper, when he wanted 
to wound, of dubbing him " The Queen's German hus- 
band/' though the people at large had long called him 
the Prince Consort. 

The difficulty of getting used to each other was 
emphasised and kept alive by the Queen's " dear, good 
Lehzen," the woman who from nurse and governess 
had become Secretary, Counsellor and Chief Adviser 
to the Queen, who in fact superintended the Royal 
Household and arranged many details connected with 
the Privy Purse. This lady, who had been made a 
baroness by George IV., had done her best at first to 
promote the marriage, then, fearing loss of power, had 
influenced the Queen to show continued hesitation, 
but the marriage accomplished in spite of her she 
bent her energies to the task of keeping the husband 
in the place she had allotted him, to wit, that of male in 


Victoria's household, a kind of King bee, a person 
whose only function was to provide heirs to the throne. 
She decreed that details of the Queen's high business 
as ruler must not be made known to him; from all 
discussions, important or otherwise, he was to be shut 
out. The household so admirably managed by 
Baroness Lehzen was a thing apart from his inter- 
ference; as to the Queen's letters was not Lehzen 
herself a proficient Secretary? who was this young 
man that he should dare to ask questions about such 
things ? Thus the Prince had two rulers, his wife and 
his wife's confidante, and he was made aware of it 
before he had been married twenty-four hours. 

The bride and bridegroom went down to Windsor 
alone after the wedding, that they might secure two 
days of quiet in which to start life together. In 
another carnage, at a different time, Lehzen also 
travelled to the Castle, unknown to anyone but her 
dearest charge and Queen. So when the Prince went 
to breakfast the first morning of his wedded life he 
had the mortification of finding the Baroness ready to 
hand him his coffee. And this was only the first of 
many annoyances and slights from which for two years 
he had to suffer. 

The people of England disliked the name of Lehzen 
as much as the Tories had once disliked the Duchess 
of Kent. She was so retiring, so ignored in conversa- 
tion by her mistress, so thoroughly behind the throne, 
that they had come to invest her with an almost sinister 
power, and this suspicion, openly commented on in 
the Press, made the Queen think an even greater 


secrecy necessary. She was universally regarded as 
the bestower of privileges : 

"Is there a single situation about the Court, from a 
maid-of-any-work to a Lady of the Bedchamber, or 
from a Groom to a Lord Chamberlain, that is not 
sought through the Baroness?" was a pertinent ques- 
tion made by one paper. Yet the secret of her in- 
fluence lay in her love for Victoria and in the fact 
that at a time when the Duchess of Kent was following 
with her daughter a rigid system of repression, Lehzen 
believed in the opposite method, that of developing 
the girl's tastes and character; and to this she added a 
very judicious flattery. The Queen might always be 
sure that the man who sat next to Lehzen at dinner was 
listening to the praises of the First Lady in the Land. 
In memoir after memoir, in one biography after an- 
other, I find that the Baroness's table companion was 
always hearing of the Queen's tastes, her habits, her 
manners, her reading, her doings as a child, and so 

A further cause of friction in the royal dovecot was 
the Queen's attitude to the Tories, made more bitter 
by the undignified public squabble that had taken 
place in Parliament over Albert. So strong was the 
resentment Victoria felt that she was determined that 
only one of that political colour, her old friend Lord 
Liverpool, should be present at her wedding. 

" But the Duke ! you must have the Duke ! " 

" No, surely on such an occasion as this I need only 
have my friends with me," was her reply. 

In the end she gave way to the great pressure put 


upon her, and sent the Duke of Wellington a belated 
invitation, and his reception could hardly have pleased 
her, for as he left the chapel not being one of the 
bridal procession spontaneously, without signal, and 
yet as if with common and universal consent, everyone 
rose and gave him three hearty cheers, which seemed 
to gladden his heart. 

It had not occurred to Victoria that her bridegroom 
could possibly ever disagree with her sentiments, and 
when she heard him voicing ideas which could scarcely 
be accepted by the Liberals her agitation and anger 
were great. 

On this point she found herself at once standing 
between the old and the new, the influence, embodied 
in Lehzen, of the Kensington Camarilla, and the 
fresher, stronger ideas of the beloved. The Prince 
had to fight for it, had even to fight for his right to 
speak on the matter at all, for Lehzen was constant in 
warnings against interference with the royal position, 
against combining the husband and the counsellor. 

To be angry at a new idea offered by a respected 
person, then to consider it, and at last to adopt it, is a 
natural sequence in many minds, and the Queen's pre- 
judices became softened, so that Thomas Raikes in 
his Diary affirmed that he had news that by April the 
influence of the Prince had caused the Queen to be 
more civil to the Tory party, and that she had actually 
invited some of them to the Palace. 

On the third day after the marriage Windsor was 
invaded by the whole Court, headed by the Duchess 
of Kent and the Coburgs, which necessitated dancing 


parties and other festivities, and then two days later 
the Queen and Prince had to return to London to give 
themselves up to the doubtful pleasure of receiving 
addresses. A levee was held of which Disraeli wrote : 
" The Queen looked well ; the Prince on her left in 
high military fig, very handsome, and the presence was 
altogether effective." Albert was very nervous, but 
the ordeal was rendered easier by his having his father 
and brother near him. To this levee came the Peers 
and the Commons in two gorgeous processions, the 
peers in their robes, the Commons led by the Speaker 
with Lord John Russell on one hand and Sir Robert 
Peel on the other, both clad in the Windsor uniform. 

Albert's brother Ernest, who stayed with the bridal 
pair until April, did not escape the popular criticism 
upon the Coburgs in general. He was, in the gracious 
way of the period, taunted with closeness about money 
matters, and was supposed to be in league with Albert 
to get everything he could out of the English and the 
royal moneybags. I have seen a caricature of the 
period in which he leans over the back of his brother's 
chair, watching him with great interest as he is feeling 
in the depths of a gigantic knitted purse. Victoria 
sitting at the table cries : 

"Albert, take your hand out of my purse, I com- 
mand you. It is too bad, hasn't John Bull allowed you 
a good yearly sum for pocket-money without your 
filching from me ? " 

To which Albert replies: "Really, mein dear, I 
know all about it, but Shon Pool, I find, hasn't allowed 
me one half enough for my expenses, and if I want 


more now and den I shall see no harm in coming to 
mein wife's purse for it." Upon which Ernest whis- 
pers in his brother's ear, " Albert, give me a little while 
you are about it." 

When Ernest went away it was with a very sad heart 
that the Prince saw him go. It was the last tie with 
his own country broken, for he knew that never again 
would any of the old intimacies be resumed; he was 
being left to a new life among people who were not 
disposed to accept him too cordially, with one only, a 
new companion, to uphold and comfort him. So the 
two young men sang together a German student's fare- 
well song, " Abschied," and they parted, their eyes full 
of tears and Albert as pale as a sheet. It must have 
been one of the saddest moments of his life, for the 
affection between the brothers was very strong. 

The poor Prince was horrified at the late hours kept 
by the Queen. His favourite bed-time being nine 
o'clock he yet would find himself obliged to stand 
about and be polite until one or two in the morning. 
The programme for the evening was generally that the 
Queen and Prince would enter the Drawing Room at 
eight, or nominally at eight, and after dinner she would 
go with the ladies into the long gallery, into which the 
rooms opened. At the dinner Victoria never omitted 
the custom of having her own health drunk, and now 
it was followed by that of her husband, she throwing 
him her sweetest smile. They thought it all right, I 
suppose, but the good taste seems questionable to-day. 
She was anxious to induce the men to discontinue the 
practice of sitting over wine, but the experiment led to 


ill-humour and a lingering after dinner in the ante- 
room, so she modified her wishes, requiring them to 
remain a quarter of an hour only behind the women. 
After dinner there was generally dancing, Victoria re- 
serving the waltzes for her husband. From the time 
of her accession she often wrote out her own instruc- 
tions as to the placing of guests ; such as : " Lord Mel- 
bourne will take in the Queen and sit on her left, Lord 
Ashley will take in the DCS. of Kent and sit between 
her and the Queen, and Lord Byron will sit on the 
DCS. of Kent's right." 

When the King of Prussia was staying at Windsor 
in the early part of 1842, that he might stand sponsor 
for the Prince of Wales, Madame Bunsen, wife of 
the Prussian Ambassador, was naturally with her hus- 
band a guest at the Castle. The definite impression 
of the visit which she gave in her " Memoirs " showed 
the Queen to be one of those delightful hostesses who 
allow her guests full liberty of action, so that Madame 
Bunsen enjoyed her stay there for its quiet and inde- 
pendence ; it was a rest, not an exertion, and the period 
of state stiffness lasted only from eight to eleven in 
the evening. She was enthusiastic over her first 
evening, and yet a little afraid of being lost : 

" When dressed we went to the corridor, where Lord 
Delawarr and the Duchess of Buccleugh, etc., were 
waiting, and the former led us through the corridor to 
the ballroom, where the guests awaited the Queen." The 
King of Prussia, punctual to 7.30, was there and Prince 
Albert entered. Before long two gentlemen walking 
in at a door and then turning and making profound 


bows towards the open door showed that the Queen was 
coming. She went directly to Madame Bunsen, the 
stranger, and spoke her pleasure in seeing her. To the 
tune of " God save the Queen " Victoria took 'the 
King's arm, and went in to dinner. 

" The scene was one of fairy tales of indescribable 
magnificence, the proportions of the hall, the mass of 
light in suspension, the gold plate on the table, glitter- 
ing with a thousand lights in branches of a proper 
height not to meet the eye. When the gentlemen 
joined the ladies the Queen went into the ball-room and 
made the King dance a quadrille with her, though he 
had long ceased to dance. At 11.30, after the Queen 
had retired, I set out on my travels to my bedchamber ; 
I might have looked and wandered some miles before 
I had found my door of exit, but was helped by an old 
gentleman, I believe Lord Albemarle." 

In 1840 Guizot who became Louis Philippe's fatal 
adviser on the downfall of Thiers stayed at Windsor 
Castle, and he wrote to his daughter that he had won 
over twenty pounds at the Ascot sweepstakes : 
:< Twenty-three sovereigns for me, which will balance 
the twenty pounds I had to spend in fees to the ser- 
vants at Windsor Castle." 

Of the Castle itself he said : " It certainly is one of 
the most delightful and picturesque castles in the 
world; its exterior is a Gothic fortress of the Middle 
Ages, the interior is a very elegant and comfortable 
modern palace. The dining-room is splendid. On 
my left -sat the young Queen, whom they tried to 
assassinate the other day, in gay spirits, talking a great 


deal, laughing very often, and longing to laugh still 
more; and filling with her gaiety, which contrasted 
with the already tragical elements in her history, this 
ancient castle which has witnessed the careers of all her 
predecessors. It is all very grand, very beautiful, very 

Victoria in her love of dancing reminds us of Queen 
Elizabeth, who, according to some pleasant verses, 
danced and danced and danced, and pranced and 
pranced and pranced when endeavouring to please the 
senses of the Spanish Ambassador with the Coranto. 
Though we are generally told that young wives in the 
'forties did not dream of dancing, there is every 
evidence that the young wife, Victoria, was always 
ready for that amusement. But she had little fancy 
for the stately minuet. She really most enjoyed a 
rousing country dance, which gave every facility for 
romping and laughter. The Duke of Argyll speaks of 
a country dance called " Grandfather," in which two 
take a handkerchief and go down the row and those 
they pass jump over the handkerchief. He was taught 
it at Frogmore, and seems to have been much 
impressed with the Queen's laughter over the 
fun. Lord Campbell also tells of a romping kind of 
country dance in which the Queen delighted, named 

Pictures were published of Her Majesty and the 
Prince dancing the Highland fling ; dancing the polka 
with the Princess Royal and the Prince of Wales on 
board when going to Scotland ; engaging in a reel on 
the Victoria and Albert, the vivacious Sovereign crying, 

E 2 


" Now, Sir Robert, jig away all like the Highland 
laddie, and I will step and step with you as gay as any 
lassie." The unhappy Peel murmurs something about 
his rheumatism, and wishes the Queen had introduced 
a sliding scale rather than a Scotch reel, but he has to 
dance; and while he and the Queen are footing it to- 
gether, Prince Albert dances with one of her ladies, 
and, sad to say, the two are tenderly ogling each other. 
But when it did not suit the occasion, and when it was 
but a quiet evening that was being passed, Victoria was 
quite ready for a round game. "German Tactics" 
was the earliest one the Prince introduced, the name, 
of course, being seized on by the jokers. On these 
evenings 11.30 was the bed-time, but this was still too 
late for the Prince, and the breakfast was at first put 
off to ten o'clock to allow him to get sufficient rest. 
Later it was fixed for nine, which gave an opportunity 
for an after-breakfast walk before the business of the 
day began. 

One hears so much of the extraordinary amount of 
work which Albert did that the Queen's own description 
of the routine of the day takes one quite by surprise 
there was so much more play than work in it. After 
the nine o'clock breakfast, the walk, and the business, 
they drew " and etched a great deal together, which was 
a source of great amusement, having the plates 'bit' 
in the house. Luncheon followed at the usual hour of 
two o'clock. Lord Melbourne came to the Queen in 
the afternoon, and between three and six the Prince 
usually drove Her out in a pony phaeton. If the Prince 
did not drive the Queen he rode, in which case she took 


a drive with the Duchess of Kent or the ladies. The 
Prince also read aloud most days to the Queen. The 
dinner was at eight o'clock, and always with the com- 
pany. In the evening the Prince frequently played 
at double chess, a game of which he was very fond, 
and which he played extremely well." 

Later on, when the Prince had greater interest in 
political work and his unremitting toil is mentioned, 
the Court Circular reports a removal from Windsor 
to Osborne, then a few days at Claremont, followed 
by six weeks at Balmoral, and a day or two at 
Buckingham Palace, just to satisfy London. Each 
of these places seemed to have its own particular 
amusement to offer, but the record of changes does not 
give an impression of sustained work. 

The marriage had caused jubilation in some Tory 
papers, it being inferred that not only Melbourne but 
some of the Court favourites would be weeded out, and 
there is little doubt but that the Prince felt some dis- 
comfort at the constant presence of various friends of 
the Queen. In June The Times declared that Victoria 
was received rapturously at Ascot because Lord Mel- 
bourne was not in her train; and public references to 
Lord Alfred Paget were continual, such as : " He is 
always making some courtly blunder, as he is the most 
'miss-taking' individual at Court"; or, " The Royal 
attention will no longer be monopolised by the Pagets 
and the Melbournes. We are glad that its fitting 
reward is awaiting Paget interferences, and that it will 
be found possible for the Queen to move amongst her 
subjects without Lord Alfred haunting her." "The 


word c to clear the Palace' of its family-club officials 
will ere long be passed by Prince Albert." 

As there were, it was said, nine Pagets about the 
Court at that time, there was some excuse for a 
popular belief in favouritism. Matilda and her sister 
Laura were maids of honour, Lady Sandwich was a 
lady in waiting, the Earl of Uxbridge was the Lord 
Chamberlain, Lord Alfred Paget was equerry, and 
Lady Constance Paget was also at Court. These are 
six which I have traced, and it may be true that there 
were three others. But Lord Alfred remained equerry 
for many years, being given also, in 1840, a captaincy 
in Prince Albert's Own Hussars, under the charming 
Lord Cardigan ! 

For some time after the marriage Melbourne still 
sat at one side of the Queen at table and Albert on 
the other. The Prince had, with the zeal of the young, 
fully intended to displace his lordship altogether, but 
he found that things could not so lightly be carried 
out. There were some sharp disagreements between 
the Royal pair over the kindly Melbourne, and then 
the Prince began to fall under the fascination of the 
genial, fatherly man, who was one of the cleverest and 
most learned, if also the laziest, of courtiers and states- 
men, one who, though not a great party leader, was 
certainly a good Queen's Minister. 

It is reported in the " Early Years " that the Prince 
- knowing Melbourne better as time went on wrote 
of him : " He is a good, upright man, and supports 
me in everything that is right." The Queen annotated 
this with : " The Prince does not add, what would 


have been the truth, that it would have been impossible 
for him to ask or wish for support except in what was 
right" The italics are mine. If it were not for the 
circumstances which brought it forth, this sort of 
expressed idolatry of the Prince after his death would 
be very shocking. But the reason for it was that 
Victoria hoped, by a constant singing of his praises, 
to ensure Albert at least posthumous admiration. It 
has, I fear, had rather the opposite result. 

It is true that the Prince was not admitted to dis- 
cussions upon State affairs, any more than he was 
admitted to those upon household matters, but then 
Melbourne not only paid him every deference, but 
showed a growing and genuine respect for his abilities, 
as well as a sympathy for the difficulties of his posi- 
tion. Thus it came to pass that when the Prince felt 
things going wrong, either domestically or otherwise, 
he went to Melbourne for help, and received every assist- 
ance which that astute counsellor could give. It was 
Melbourne who urged upon the Queen that her hus- 
band was something more than just her husband, that 
he was a man of ability, capable of giving her signal 
assistance, that she had not only the right, but the 
privilege of asking his help in great matters as well as 
small; and Melbourne as well as the Prince blamed 
Lehzen for her interference. It is no wonder that 
Albert hated the woman who stood in the way of his 
independence ; yet he was powerless, for if he openly 
showed his bitterness his dear little wife, while believ- 
ing she loved her dearest, most angelic Albert better 
than anyone in the world, would hotly defend her old 


friend. It was said, however, that when matters grew 
too difficult, Victoria gave Lehzen some timid hints 
for she was as much in awe of as in love with that 
lady that she might like to retire on a pension and 
resign her secretaryship into the hands of the Prince. 

From this and other causes there were many 
quarrels, echoes of which got abroad. There is that 
well-reported violent quarrel after which the Queen 
rushed from the room. Returning after a time she 
found the door locked, and knocked imperiously for 
entry : 

"Who is there?" called the Prince. 

" The Queen of England ! " was the haughty reply. 
And all remained quiet in the room behind the door. 

Again and again Victoria knocked, and again and 
again came the same question and answer, until at 
last the Queen, conquered, responded : 

" Your wife, Albert " 

Upon which the door was opened and the weeping 
Queen was comforted. 

Another quarrel which also had to do with a locked 
door occurred over the question of the Prince going 
out when the Queen wished him to remain in. To 
ensure obedience to her own wishes she turned the 
key of the room he occupied. As she stood outside 
expecting all sorts of angry protests, only silence fell 
on her ears; Albert did not even beg to be let out, 
so, somewhat piqued, she softly opened the door to 
see what he was doing. The philosophic Prince had 
got out his paint-box, and was calmly making a sketch 
of the view from his window. 


Another time the disagreement was over the 
tea-table, with the result that she-of-the-passionate- 
temper flung the contents of a cup into her lord's 

"What do you think of that?" murmured the 
Prince to his attendant, as he rose to change his 

These reports caused more than one wag to affirm 
that to Victoria and Albert was to be awarded the 
Dunmow flitch of bacon, and H.B. had an elaborate 
drawing of a great procession, the Prince and Queen 
riding on one horse, and the flitch being carried before 
them; H.H. publishing an even more amusing cartoon 
of the royal pair demanding the flitch of John Bull. 

The Prince's misogynist tendencies were put 
severely to the test at his wife's Court, for Victoria 
liked pretty people about her, and was said to have 
ladies " who were in appearance ideal attendants upon 
an ideal Queen." There was the young Marchioness 
of Douro, wife of one of the Wellesleys, for whom the 
Queen had a great liking, and who was beautiful 
enough for Punch to compliment her through the lips 
of a stoker on the N.W.R. : 

"But, Lord, Jem ! that there Marchioness Douro 's a bewty, 
(Wich Princesses and Princes to nuss it's her dooty,) 
And sez I to myself ' Bless your sweet face, sez I, ma'am I 
If I goes off the line with yer, blow me sky high, ma'am ! ' " 

There was Miss Pitt, who had the reputation of 
causing the Queen active jealousy : not that she wanted 
to, but Victoria could not bear the Prince to talk much 
to anyone, Melbourne once remarking with kindly 


amusement that she seemed jealous if he talked long 
even with a man. There was Miss Spring-Rice, who 
could gladden him with her fluent German, Miss 
Devereux, Miss Cocks, and the older and statelier 
ladies of the Bedchamber. The constant presence of 
such a number of elegant, highly-bred women could 
not fail to rub off some of the priggishness and rough- 
ness which a callow youth so often mistakes for manli- 
ness, and Albert grew easier in his manners, and with 
the active if sometimes indignantly expressed help of 
his wife he began to learn to hand a lady out of a 
carriage, and not to get out first and walk off, to open 
the room door for the Queen, and otherwise become 
more courtly. But this cut both ways, and the Queen 
suffered acutely in watching his greater politeness to 
ladies. She could not bear to hear his laughter, 
which was generally both loud and unmusical, in unison 
with that of some fair conversationalist, and it was 
said that he had to pay the penalty for his new polish 
in many a mauvais quart d'heure. One joke went the 
round that he was anxious to arrange and attend a 
dramatic performance, at which the two plays should 
be "The Jealous Wife" and "The Taming of the 
Shrew." He was also accredited with the desire to 
watch the evolutions of a famous dancer too often, a 
desire which was not allowed to be gratified, and many 
other skits and jokes were published which aimed slyly 
at the Queen's failing of jealousy. 

An American, after visiting England in 1844, gave 
his opinion of the Queen and Prince in his local paper 
in the following words : 


" While I could not undertake to say that the Queen 
is handsome, I was much struck with her whole manner 
and appearance. She has a very intelligent face, with 
eyes and mouth indicative of the firmness and courage 
which belong to her race, and she is certainly one of 
the most graceful creatures I have ever seen. There 
is much dignity in her carriage, and her whole air is 
more grave and matronly than usually belongs to 
women of her age. She is not, I should judge, entirely 
free from her temper on the contrary, if I am not much 
mistaken, she would not hesitate to give even her car a 
sposa the very Jessy, should he happen to displease 
her. I should say that she would be an admirable 
hand at a curtain lecture. Albert is good-looking, 
very tall and well made, but his countenance is quite 
inexpressive in fact, somewhat vacant and hard. He 
would not c take on ' much, in my opinion, at the dis- 
missal of a favourite or the death of a friend. There 
is rather a melancholy air about him, but whether this 
results from the death of his father, or, as some say, 
the constant surveillance of his Royal spouse, I will 
not venture to guess. He is altogether what we should 
call in our country c a nice young man/ and, seeing 
that he receives some ^30,000 a year, besides ' board 
and lodging/ we may safely conclude that he is well 
satisfied with his situation, even throwing in the curtain 

The married people who never disagree even in the 
first days of their companionship are generally those 
who know each other so well that they have already 
learned the intricacies of each other's characters. 


Those who marry first and have to pursue the char- 
acter study afterwards are bound to find points of 
difference, and, if they are impulsive, to put their 
finding into words. Thus Victoria really loved her 
husband as passionately and sentimentally as she felt 
it her pride to do, and their early life held many idyllic 
periods, especially in the country. The Queen had 
had little education; French, German, and a smatter- 
ing of Latin were her nearest approach to intellectual 
attainments; music, singing, drawing, and painting 
were, of course, her accomplishments, accomplish- 
ments considered necessary to every girl at that time 
and for many years later. 

Of the world and its wonders, of Nature with its 
inexorable laws, its beauty and its cruelty, she knew 
nothing. Lady Lyttelton, whose privately printed and 
but recently published letters have been so much 
quoted by every Royal biographer, 1 said that the Queen 
did not at the time of her marriage know an oak from 
an elm, and scarcely knew a rose from a thistle. She 
gives pictures of the Royal pair, he cantering up to 
his wife's carriage to point out a swarm of bees, and 
to add some information about the Queen bee, etc., 
Victoria answering, " How curious ! " and making 
pretty little remarks. Then again the Queen would 
point out some new plant imported into the garden, 
adding half shyly the information she had received 
about it from the Prince. 

It is an interesting aspect of the two chief people 

1 "The Correspondence of Sarah, Lady Lyttelton," edited by 
the Hon. Mrs. Hugh Wyndham. 



// I 

From a Pastel by Swinton, in the possession ot Viscount Cobham. 


of a great Court. The Queen, a charming ingenue, 
though three years a Queen, the very young husband, 
gradually finding his level and inducting the untaught 
girl into some of the delightful simplicities of the 
natural world. 

So far London, late hours, dancing, had given 
Queen Victoria the greatest delight, but she was so 
malleable that she soon began to accept her husband's 
dislike of the town as her own. She had always been 
miserable when she left London; now she began to 
believe that she was miserable when she went there. 
It was simply a matter of imitation, which gradually 
she carried into everything, for the impulsive nature 
generally in the end gives way to the cautious one. 
During his first year in England the Prince wrote to 
his grandmother : " We came here the day before 
yesterday to spend a month at stately Windsor, and I 
felt as if in Paradise in this fine fresh air, instead of 
the dense smoke of London. The thick, heavy atmo- 
sphere there quite weighs me down. The town is also 
so large that without a long ride or walk you have 
no chance of getting out of it. Besides this, wherever 
I show myself I am still followed by hundreds of 

Years later Victoria said in excuse for avoiding 
London : " London became positively distasteful to 
the Queen, and was only made endurable by having 
her beloved husband at her side, to share with her 
and support her in the irksome duties of Court recep- 
tions and State ceremonials. It was also injurious 
to her health, as she suffered much from the extreme 


weight and thickness of the atmosphere, which gave 
her the headache." 

Another and an amusing piece of imitation was 
commented on at the time that the Duke of Norfolk 
entertained his Sovereign. Prince Albert had a 
peculiar dislike for mutton, and the Queen had 
acquired the same distaste, so it was announced 
that no mutton was to appear on the board at 
Arundel ! 

The Prince showing a disposition to be quite polite 
to the Tories, some of them began to feel a little con- 
science-stricken when they thought of the recent Par- 
liamentary debates, and they in their turn tried to 
work out some means by which they could gracefully 
hold out the olive branch; so they invited him to speak 
at an Anti-Slavery meeting at Exeter Hall. It was 
an astute method of killing two birds with one stone, 
for curiosity about the Prince would safely ensure the 
filling of the hall. The invitation was at once 
accepted, and Albert learned his speech by heart, 
repeating it before the Queen in the morning. It 
was, of course, a success, and Sir Robert Peel, who 
presided, made a laboured and fulsome return of 
thanks for the Royal condescension, upon which John 
Russell remarked : 

" The Prince would much rather Peel had not cut 
off 20,000 a year from his income, than that he should 
be asked to make a fine speech and give 100 to the 
Anti-Slavery Society." 

Peel followed up his first advantage by appointing 
the Prince President of the Royal Commission which 


was to consider the best means of promoting Art and 
Science ; and a further honour was offered, in that of 
Director of Ancient Music, the duty of the directors 
being to take turns in arranging concerts in Hanover 
Square Rooms. 

All these endeavours to give work to idle hands was 
one method by which the English statesmen hoped to 
fit the young German into a little groove, to point the 
way of opportunity for him in one direction, and to 
close it in another. He might play among the pretty- 
pretties of life as much as he liked, fill the graceful 
part of figure-head, patron, and lover of the beaux 
arts, but he was to be headed off from any interference 
with English politics. As Baron Stockmar, the 
Prince's hypochrondriacal tutor, had laid great stress 
upon the necessity for Albert to study law and politics, 
and as Albert himself had a strong idea that Kingship 
went with his position, he took the offerings made him 
with a very decided feeling that they were only the 
promise of greater things to come. 

When Queen Victoria married, she had but two 
houses, for St. James's Palace had long been aban- 
doned as a home, and both of them were Royal resi- 
dences that is to say, they were dwellings which had 
no hint of private ownership about them Windsor 
Castle, the Sovereign's country residence, and Bucking- 
ham Palace, the town house. The latter has always been 
one of those failures which might have been such a 
splendid success, for enough money has been spent 
on it several times over to have built a new palace, 
and yet it remains ugly, sordid, and inconvenient. 


In 1825 Buckingham House was turned into Buck- 
ingham Palace for George IV. by partly pulling down, 
by altering, and patching to the tune of 300,000. 
On Victoria's accession it was done up, and a con- 
servatory turned into a chapel; on her marriage 
many rooms were altered and redecorated, and less 
than a year later additional alterations were again 
made, doors were let into walls, staircases thrown up 
to the rooms above the Queen's and the Prince's suites, 
and the nurseries made by filching the servants' bed- 
rooms, said to be the attics, and stretching floors across 
their loftiness so as to make two rooms where before 
only one had existed. Then in 1847 these were found 
inadequate, while the Queen's rooms, being over the 
workshops, were rendered odious by the noise of saw- 
ing and hammering and the smell of glue and paint. 
So stone was imported from Caen, and a whole new 
front, with suites of rooms built, the nurseries fitted 
up in the north wing with kitchens and everything 
needful, so that there was no need for communication 
with the rest of the house; alterations which cost 

The only really noble thing about the exterior of 
the Palace had been the Marble Arch, built by John 
Nash for George IV. of Carrara marble, on the model 
of the Arch of Constantine at Rome. It cost 80,000, 
and the bronze gates were designed and cast by Samuel 
Parker at a further cost of 3,000; they are said to 
be the best and most dignified gates in Europe. 
During the first part of the nineteenth century England 
was at one of its lowest ebbs in art, and the clever 


Government officials who were responsible for the 
moving of those gates thought themselves sufficiently 
careful if the carting was done in a common stage 
waggon, with the result that the most beautiful piece 
of the ironwork which should have crowned the gates 
was smashed to pieces; thus London lost a treasure, 
the artist's heart was broken and no one seemed to 

By 1850 the Queen decided that the Marble Arch 
was in her way and unnecessary, and so the poor thing 
went begging for a situation, suggestions being 
made that it was only a nuisance, and should be 
demolished. When we are all dead, the generations 
who come after will begin to prize this beautiful thing, 
and even we know that it is worth all the Buckingham 
Palaces that can be built. It is a blessing that some- 
one had the fine idea of planting it down at Tyburn, 
for its influence has spread all round it. 

Like all her forbears, the Guelphs, Victoria had but 
little eye for the chaste in beauty, and so whenever 
Buckingham Palace was redecorated, it put on new and 
brighter tints of crimson and purple and gold. The 
hue of the precious metal plastered the ceilings and 
walls ; it covered the woodwork of the chairs and sofas ; 
it glittered in the ornaments, and sparkled from the 
hangings. One room was decorated in yellow satin, 
and every article in it was overlaid with burnished 
gold. The Throne Room was hung in crimson satin 
and velvet with gold on every available sj>ot. The 
State ball-room, which was not finished until 1856, 
and at a cost of 300,000, had its gold ceiling 


upheld with gold-topped Corinthian columns of por- 
phyry scagliola, 1 while one of the drawing-rooms, 
abounded in columns of purple scagliola in imitation 
of lapis lazuli. It was these columns which Charles 
Greville sneered at as " raspberry-coloured pillars with- 
out end, enough to turn you sick to look at," adding 
that the costly ornaments in the State rooms exceeded 
all belief in their bad taste and every kind of infirmity. 
These sham marble columns rose from the palace floors 
in every room and in every direction, being in addition 
to mirrors and vivid colour the chief things in the 
scheme of decoration of the interior. Though it is 
comforting to be told that the Queen's private rooms 
were more simply furnished, it is difficult to realise a 
home in such surroundings. 

When Parliament was asked in the mid-' forties to 
vote the large sum for the rebuilding of the Palace 
front, Punch published a cartoon on the subject. It 
showed Prince Albert, a very worn and lined pater- 
familias, his famous hat in hand, with his pretty, dainty 
Queen by his side, accompanied by four children and 
a fat nurse carrying a baby and followed by soldiers 
and footmen, wandering through the streets of 
London, uttering the following prayer : 

"A Case of Real Distress. 

" Good People, pray take compassion on us. It is 
now nearly seven years since either of us have known 

1 Scagliola is a mixture of gypsum, isinglass, alum, frag- 
ments of marble, and colouring matter, which, being beaten to 
a paste, is laid on to imitate marble of the sort desired. 


the blessing of a comfortable residence. If you do not 
believe us, good people, come and see where we live, 
at Buckingham Palace, and you will be satisfied that 
there is no deception in our story. Such is our distress, 
that we should be truly grateful for the blessing of a 
comfortable two-pair back, with commonly decent 
sleeping rooms for our children and domestics. With 
our slender means, and our increasing family, we 
declare to you that we do not know what to do. The 
sum of one hundred and fifty thousand pounds will 
be all that will be required to make the needful altera- 
tions in our dwelling. Do, good people, bestow your 
charity to this little amount, and may you never live 
to feel the want of so small a trifle." 

Lord John Russell demanded the money from the 
Commons, saying that unless it was forthcoming the 
Royal children would have to live permanently at 
Windsor, and so be often separated from their parents. 
He added also that he thought it would be a handsomer 
plan to commence a new Palace altogether, which drew 
a chorus of protests from all sides. Verses and songs 
were written deprecating such a course, such as : 

" Oh ! do not build for me 

Another palace, pray, 
I have already three 

And sure enough are they. 
Besides a country seat, 

All in the Isle of Wight, 
Another build not, I entreat ; 

I 've houses plenty ! quite ! ' ' 

In his Weekly Newspaper Douglas Jerrold com- 
mented as follows on the idea : 

F 2 


" Lord John Russell thought it would have been ' a 
handsomer plan ' that is, we presume, had John Bull 
been very full of cash ' to commence a new Palace/ 
Another palace ! and that, of course, too big or too 
small or too high or too low or too damp or too 
smoky for the next tenant. It is so difficult to accom- 
modate all the glories of royalty. Happy are the 
snails ! for their king as the poet says carries his 
house on his back." 

Lady Eastlake, who with her husband was much 
favoured by the Queen and Prince, went into ecstasies 
over Buckingham Palace after the alterations were 
made, writing in a letter : " It is superb. The hall 
and staircases are regal, and Devonshire House, 
Apsley House, and all the houses I have seen sink 
into insignificance in comparison," adding that marble 
and gilding were on all sides, with sheets of mirrors, 
and every nook and alcove was full of the loveliest 
flowers. However, Lady Eastlake was subject to 
passing enthusiasms, for a year later she wrote of 
Stafford House that it " surpasses in splendour any- 
thing that can be imagined. Buckingham Palace is 
nothing to it." 

Of Buckingham Palace garden there could be no 
two opinions. It covered nearly forty acres, and was 
more like a park than a garden. It must have been 
a delight to weary Royalty, in spite of, or perhaps 
because of, the fact that formalism was then the highest 
ideal in gardening. It contained and still does con- 
tain a lake, and a summer-house on a mound, con- 


sisting of several rooms, which the Prince had decorated 
with frescoes by the best-known artists, and which was 
perhaps as good for the children as a simple, un- 
assuming structure would have been; and Albert intro- 
duced into the fields and alleys all sorts of animals 
and aquatic birds, that he might have the pleasure of 
feeding them and studying their ways. 

It is curious in these days of sanitation to look back 
to the time of our grandmothers, and realise the 
abominations under which they lived, Queen and 
courtiers as well as humbler folk. Thus during the 
1847 building operations a shocking report of the 
sewerage around the Palace was given. All the houses 
forming the streets to the south were entirely without 
drainage, though there were occasional cesspools 
hidden among the houses, into which the sewage passed. 
There it lay until the pool was full and its contents 
putrid, and those happy conditions being attained, the 
whole contents were pumped into the open gutters, 
diffusing miasma around as the stream passed through 
the streets, until at length it found its way into the 
sewers. The only alternative to this operation was for 
the inhabitants to let the flood percolate into their 
dwellings. I have seen within the last twelve years 
the same method pursued in a French fishing town, 
and the occasional release of the sewage was not even 
made to synchronise with the high tide. Such 
happenings as these under the Palace windows 
might well give both the Prince and the Queen 
"the headache." 


After the Prince Consort's death an examination of 
drains was made at Windsor, and it was found 
that beneath the Castle and the wards were about 
fifty cesspools and that the drains were very 



ALTOGETHER the Queen at this stage of her career 
must have possessed considerable charm. She was 
impulsive, generous, loving and passionate, generally 
thought the best of people, and was very frank and 
sincere. On the other hand, she had so ingrained 
and lofty an idea of her great position that she was 
to a certain extent blinded about herself and by herself, 
and she never did come anywhere near comprehending 
that she was self-centred and selfish. Thus all through 
her letters her love for her husband, so readily ex- 
pressed, is rather an appreciation of the satisfaction 
it gave to herself than any realisation of the good 
it should confer on him. She always stood first, occupy- 
ing the centre of the picture ; he was always there, but 
a little behind, a little in the shadow, one upon whom 
she could shed her light and who would naturally be 
overwhelmed with joy. 

Yet he was much greater than the Queen in character. 
He possessed the strength of the Christian virtues^; 

he could suffer and be kind ; he could work cheerfully 



and give all the credit of his labour to his wife; he 
was thoroughly unselfish, and had firmness, strength, 
and intellect. Still he remains a shadow in the train 
of one whose greatest claim to greatness was a long 
and temperate life, upheld and protected by exception- 
ally able Ministers, and passed in the fierce light which 
beats upon the Throne. Such a statement will not 
find favour with those who, accepting judgments ready 
made without thinking them out, are persuaded of the 
superlative character of our late Queen ; but all unpre- 
judiced study and thought on the subject points to this 

However, I am dealing with her now as a woman 
just entering her third decade, when all the circum- 
stances of her life made her interesting ; when she was 
looking forward, as healthy-minded young married 
women do, to rearing a family, and making great 
preparations for the first event which should contribute 
to that result. The public seemed to know what was 
about to happen almost before she did herself, and 
as early as April and May there were newspaper com- 
ments about an important event which would occur in 

The Queen accepted the prospect of the trial before 
her in the happy spirit with which the inexperienced 
look forward to giving birth to their first child. There 
are many women who, after that first time, have not 
the bravery to face such an agonising episode again, 
and there are others in whom the love of children 
is so deep that they forget the pain in the joy of 
possession, and gradually secure the proverbial quiver 


full ; happily, the Queen who never wanted pluck 
was of the latter class. 

Among the many announcements made as to the 
Queen's health before the event occurred was one 
which alluded to a weakness of the little lady's, that of 
having her portrait painted or her bust modelled, one 
process of this sort succeeding another with fair regu- 
larity. " To our gracious Sovereign herself, the natural 
prospect of her accouchement, we are happy to state, 
appears to furnish anything but grounds for misgiving 
or alarm. Her only consternation seems to lie in the 
temporary interruption which the circumstances of the 
case may impose upon her ability to sit for her portrait." 

On November roth the Princess Royal was born with 
the usual royal publicity, the Prince remaining in the 
room all through the Queen's labour and witnessing 
the birth of the child. In the next room, within ear- 
shot, were gathered the Archbishop of Canterbury, the 
Lord Bishop of London, Lord Melbourne, Viscount 
Palmerston, the Earl of Errol, Lord Steward of the 
Household, the Earl of Albemarle, Master of the 
Horse. In another room waited the Countess Sand- 
wich, Lady of the Bedchamber; Colonel Cavendish, 
Equerry-in- Waiting; Sir Frederick Stovin, Groom-in- 
Waiting;" Colonel Wylde, Equerry to Prince Albert, 
and Captain Seymour, Groom-in- Waiting on Prince 
Albert. All of them waiting there for hours for the 
last effort, the first cry. 

Is it not a disgusting custom? Think of a very 
difficult birth in a time when chloroform was not used 
and a poor girl, weakened by hours of atrocious pain, 


losing her self-control and screaming, with all those 
old and young men of the world, married and un- 
married, feeling it their duty to remain and listen to 
every sound, to every moan. And then later on, when 
it was all over, and things were again normal, this 
victim of folly and suspicion would have to meet all 
these people, with the knowledge that they had made 
the willing audience at the tragedy which attends 
motherhood, a tragedy which all nature demands shall 
take place in the deepest seclusion. This alone is 
sufficient to console the most ambitious woman for the 
fact that she does not wear a crown. 

Though the sufferings of the Queen were not 
abnormal, and the birth was rapid, so that a few hours 
completed the whole trouble, she may have felt how 
outrageously her right to privacy was shocked, and 
tried to arrange differently in the following year, when 
the Prince of Wales was born, for I find that stickler 
for etiquette, Charles Greville, grumbling that " from 
some crochet of Prince Albert's they put off sending 
intelligence of Her Majesty's being in labour till so 
late that several of the dignitaries, whose duty it was 
to assist at the birth, arrived after the event had 
occurred, especially the Archbishop of Canterbury and 
the Lord President of the Council." He goes on to 
say that : " At two o'clock a Council was held and 
the usual thanksgiving ordered. Last year the Prince 
took the chair, which was all wrong; and this time I 
placed him at the top of the table on the left, the 
Archbishop next him." He further added that the 
Queen commanded Peel and several others to dine at 


the Palace the night before, though it was Lord 
Mayor's Day and she must have known it, so they all 
had to break their engagement with the Lord Mayor. 
" Melbourne/ 5 said Greville, " would have gone to the 
Mansion House, but the new people had to stand more 
on ceremony with her." 

This last allusion needs some elucidating, for it was 
the second snub the Queen had offered the City, and 
one which was believed to have been intentional, 
though the object of her anger was not the City, but 
Sir Robert Peel. To the agonised distress of Victoria, 
the Whig Government had at last fallen, and she found 
herself forced to accept Sir Robert Peel as her 
Minister. As she felt a distinct dislike for him, conse- 
quent upon his act in 1838 about the ladies of the 
Bedchamber, she was not inclined to extend to him too 
much consideration, and wilfully "commanded" him 
to dine at the Palace on the ninth of November, the 
night on which he was engaged to make his great mani- 
festo at the Lord Mayor's banquet in the City. Sir 
Algernon West tells in his " Recollections " how Peel 
said to Sir James Graham : " You must now make the 
Ministerial Speech." Sir James protested, and as Peel 
went out of the room, added : " The only thing I can 
hope for is that the Queen may be brought to bed on 
that day." 

Perhaps Sir James's prayer had force enough to move 
Heaven, for the Queen was certainly unable to enter- 
tain Sir Robert Peel or anyone else, and the Prime 
Minister joyfully went to the City and gave his speech. 

The other and rather earlier snub was of a more 


serious kind, because it succeeded. The Prince, having 
become a member of the Goldsmiths' Company, 
was presented with the freedom of the City and made 
a member of the Fishmongers' Company on the 27th 
of August, 1840, ceremonies which were to be followed 
by a great banquet, arranged entirely as a compliment 
and expression of goodwill to the Queen's husband. 

We all know how easy it is to arrange to attend some 
public or private function, and then how easy it also 
is when the time has arrived to wish one had not 
accepted. Such was the case with the Prince, and even 
more so with the Queen, who, not having been asked 
to take part in the function, and being unable to do 
so at least with grace had she been approached, did 
not wish her cara sposa to spend so much time away 
from her in the company of the City men. 

However, the Prince had accepted, and the City 
magnates surpassed themselves in the preparations 
they made to entertain him ; then at the eleventh hour 
the Prince repented. On the evening before the cere- 
mony he had written a long letter to his father, in which 
he said : 

" To-morrow I shall have to encounter much fatigue. 
I go to the City, first to the Corporation of the Fish- 
mongers, into which body I am to be received as a 
member, and thence to the Guildhall, where, besides 
addresses, I am to receive the freedom of the City. 
After that I have to attend a banquet of four hours' 
duration at the Mansion House." 

Yet an hour or two after writing this he summoned 
the Lord Mayor to Windsor, and informed that 


chagrined personage that though he would be very 
pleased to be made free of the City, he would be unable 
to attend the banquet. So on the day which had been 
anticipated as forming history in the City the Prince 
went to the Guildhall, received the freedom, apologised 
verbally to the Lord Mayor, and then drove straight 
to Buckingham Palace, where he had a comfortable 
dinner with his attendants before going back to 
Windsor, the great company at the Mansion House 
dining meanwhile in an irritated frame of mind. The 
next day the Lord Mayor received a letter from George 
Anson, giving no reason at all for the Prince's absence, 
but saying that he was commanded to repeat the very 
great regret with which the Prince felt himself com- 
pelled to decline the hospitality offered, and " begged 
him to appreciate the true motives of delicacy to which 
he felt imperatively bound to yield, and to give up 
what, under other circumstances, would have given him 
so much pleasure." 

The affair was much canvassed, the Queen being 
generally blamed, a truer judgment than people knew, 
as she had been sorrowing over the fact that the day's 
absence was more than she could bear, the longest 
parting since their marriage i 

"They say that Albert's clever, yes, 
With wit and talent he's imbued : 
But then to Vic he, so we guess, 
Indebted is for being shrew'd. " 

So sang the City wags. 

Sir Theodore Martin, in his biography of the Prince, 
does not think it even worth mentioning that the free- 


dom of the City was conferred on him, and it is not 
unlikely that he avoided this subject because of the 
unpopular ending to the ceremony. 

During the weeks in 1840 that the Queen remained 
in her rooms, Baroness Lehzen was given entire authority 
in the Palace, and she was both mistress and master of 
the establishment ; it would have pleased her to be able 
to keep the Prince out of his wife's room altogether, 
but in any case she was determined that there should 
be no interference in those matters which had hitherto 
been arranged by the Queen and herself. So the 
Prince felt his position doubly, though he forebore to 
express any hint of his annoyance to his wife. Later 
on, when the Queen was herself again, the matter was 
talked out, and Lehzen found herself in disgrace. 

But she still had great influence over the Queen, 
still impressed upon her the distinction between a 
queen and a wife, and tried to keep her independent 
of her husband. On the other hand, Her Majesty had 
grown to rely so utterly upon her Ministers, that, though 
she went through the farce of listening to all Melbourne 
told her, she did not trouble to exercise her mind. 
It was sufficient that her Government should advise 
this or that course for her to follow it. Thus, though 
she responded to Lehzen's tuition admirably, she was, 
by a defect in her own nature, losing her real position 
as an active head of the State. Lehzen did not realise 
this, and she fought quietly for her beloved pupil's 
regality, watched over her health, rejoiced and 
sorrowed with her, and retained a passionate love for 
the girl whose happiness she was unwittingly spoiling. 


So it had to be war between her and the Prince. 
He dared not rebel openly, as a word against 
Lehzen was sufficient to provoke a scene of anger 
with his wife, though the birth of the child quickened 
the Queen's love for her husband, and she sometimes 
grew indignant at the assumption of the humble 
German woman ; but the quarrels were smoothed over, 
and things went on as usual, with perhaps more sub- 
mission from the dependent, but no lessening of the 
Prince's dislike. In the autumn of the following year, 
when he knew that another child was coming, and a 
dissolution of Parliament was imminent, he consulted 
Melbourne as to Lehzen's banishment, " expressing the 
constant state of annoyance he was kept in by her 
interference." l 

Talking it over with George Anson, who was in the 
Prince's confidence, Melbourne said that it would be 
more difficult to remove her after the change of Govern- 
ment; because, if a Tory Ministry pressed such a point, 
the Queen would immediately resent it upon them; to 
which Anson replied that, though the Prince would 
be able to carry his wish if he decided to get rid of 
the Baroness, his affection for the Queen would prevent 
him from pressing a painful point, one which could 
not be carried without an exciting scene. And the 
thoughtful Secretary finished the discussion with 
" People are beginning much better to understand the 
lady's character, and time must surely work its own 
ends." So, for a little, a very little longer, the Baroness 
remained in the royal household. 

1 Letters of Queen Victoria. 


The birth of a royal child was a windfall to a great 
number of people. There were generally three doctors, 
Sir James Clark, Dr. Locock, and Dr. Blagden, while 
Stockmar, being also a doctor, was in the Palace at the 
time. At the birth of the Princess Royal Dr. Locock 
was paid one thousand pounds for his services, and 
probably the others received proportional sums. The 
royal wet-nurse, who was the wife of a professional 
man, was also paid one thousand pounds, besides 
taking various emoluments and a pension of three 
hundred pounds a year. Mrs. Lilly, the monthly nurse, 
must also have found her connection with Royalty a 
most fortunate one ; she certainly became a well-known 
character in England through the verses and cartoons 
which were published about her. Indeed, no one con- 
cerned in the royal events, of what at that time was 
called " the gander month," escaped the pencil of the 
caricaturist, and few escaped the gibes of the versifier : 

"Doctors Locock, Blagden, Clark, 

They made the great discovery, 
And having brought the goods to town 
Were paid upon delivery," 

is only saved from coarseness by its touch of wit. 

It was also announced not, it need scarcely be 
said, officially that Prince Albert intended to present 
Dr. Locock with a piece of plate, bearing the inscrip- 
tion : " To the great deliverer of his country." 

The wise men of the Empire, who waited on the 
threshold of the royal lying-in chamber, that they 
might pretend all this clinging to effete custom is but 
pretence to be guarding against another warming-pan 


scandal, did not go away until the baby, having been 
washed, was brought in to them, naked on a cushion for 
their inspection. Quite a refined and delicate little 
ceremony ! And one caricaturist drew the Duke of 
Wellington as a nurse handing the cushion about for 
his fellow statesmen to inspect its occupant. 

The Duke was always at these interesting gather- 
ings, and must have gained quite an experience of what 
a new-born baby should be. At the birth of the Duke 
of Connaught the Prince managed so well that not only 
the Archbishop and President of the Council, but 
nearly all the officers of State, were too late for the 
ghoulish ^period of waiting, for they only arrived after 
the birth had taken place. When Mrs. Lilly entered 
with the usual flannel bundle, the Duke asked a ques- 
tion and received a reproof, which Thackeray has 
crystallised for the ages in the following lines : 

"Lord John he next alights, 

And who comes here in haste? 
The Hero of a Hundred Fights, 
The caudle for to taste. 

Then Mrs. Lilly, the nuss, 

Towards them steps with joy; 
Says the brave old Duke, ' Come, tell to us, 

Is it a gal or a boy? ' 

Says Mrs. L. to the Duke, 

' Your Grace, it is a Prince. ' 
And at that nurse's bold rebuke 

He did both laugh and wince." 

The Queen said that after the birth of the Princess 
Royal, Albert only regretted for a moment that it was 
not a boy, and the fact that there were lamentations in 



the Press over the sex of the babe produced plenty of 
warm defenders of the Queen and the Princess. As 
one writer pointed out : " It is a poor compliment to 
Her Majesty that people regret the child is not a boy. 
Surely we may anticipate that some day she might 
become almost as popular a Queen as her mother." 
But England was supposed, on the whole, to be sorry, 
and one of the sketches known as Political Hits, 
showed Melbourne as the nurse holding the baby, and 
offering to a somewhat shabby John Bull a taste of 
the caudle, saying, " I hope the caudle is to your liking, 
Mr. Bull, it must be quite a treat, for you have not had 
any so long." To which John answers, " Why, to tell 
you the truth, Mother Melbourne, I think the caudle 
the best of it, but why was it not a boy ? " Whereupon 
Prince Albert, who is present, cheerfully promises 
" one leetle poy " next year. A promise faithfully kept. 

Melbourne came in for a great amount of chaff, his 
constant presence at the Palace being attributed to the 
supposed fact that he had become one of the attendants 
upon the baby. Under the title of " Old Servants in 
New Characters," we see him as a nurse with the babe 
in his arms, sitting in a little car drawn by two ponies, 
with Lord John Russell as outrider, and Lord Morpeth 
as a footman walking alongside, the Queen and the 
Prince following, blandly smiling. Again, we get him 
bending to kiss the infant, but looking in adoring 
fashion upwards at the Queen, who holds it. 

When the Prince of Wales was born there was a long 
succession of caricatures of Melbourne and Peel as 
rival nurses, each thinking his own baby the best, until 


Peel ousts Melbourne entirely out of the nursery. For 
in the last one Melbourne proudly holds up the Prin- 
cess Royal and says : " Look at my babby, there's a 
beauty for you ! " To which Peel, holding up the 
Prince of Wales, who was born in his time of office, 
responds : " And look at mine ! Why, your nose is 
quite out of joint now." 

The birth of a baby revived temporarily all the 
suspicions about the King of Hanover which had some- 
what died away, and he once more appeared as the 
subject of English cartoons. In one drawing he a 
horrible old man is dreaming in bed, his sword on the 
chair by his side; convulsively he clutches the sheet, 
while Queen Victoria, with a baby in her arms, is wafted 
through the room on a cloud. A more pointed reference 
to him was made in December, 1841, and was prompted 
by the theory, so widely accepted, that the early 
attempt by Oxford on the Queen's life was made at the 
suggestion of the King of Hanover. In this skit Nurse 
Lilly brings the newly-born Prince for the statesmen's 
inspection, and the King of Hanover puts his head 
through the doorway, grasping a dagger and hissing in 
good melodramatic style : " Interloper ! a young Popish 
crucifix ! an unbaptised apostate ! not a thread of 
genuine orange colour about him, an unconsecrated 
heretic. If it were not for that villainous Press, I'd 
show England that I'd do my duty as a son of the 

At the present day, when we pride ourselves on our 
high ethical standard, it is hardly credible that the 
Queen's uncle could have given cause for anxiety or 

G 2 


distress, but there really was a strong suspicion that 
this son of a line of Kings would go to great lengths 
to clear his way to the throne of England. He had 
been accused of trying to win the position through the 
Orange Lodges of which he was the Grand Master ; he 
hoped to win it from his brother George by proving 
that William Duke of Clarence was insane. When 
William IV. was ill he sounded Wellington and the 
men about him as to the possibility of snatching the 
crown by a struggle. Soon after, when he was on the 
eve of going to Hanover as King, for even he thought 
half a loaf better than no bread, a report went through 
society that he was plotting to dethrone his niece ; and 
many people believed that he was always on the watch 
to work her mischief. One cartoon showed him as a 
vulture in the branches of a high tree, gazing fiercely 
down upon a doe beneath, the doe having the face of 
Queen Victoria, and John Bull parting the branches 
reminds the would-be depredator that all England is 
watching him. His portrait, with a face like a walrus, 
great bushy eyebrows and moustaches, was- being con- 
stantly published by the side of the young Queen, 
to keep people in mind of the contrast between them, 
while pictures of his stealing into her bedroom to 
assassinate her were not uncommon. I have one such 
in my study now. He had, in fact, made such an 
indelible impression for evil upon the majority of 
people that there was nothing of which he was not 

The Duke had got his bad name many years earlier. 
But whether he was wicked, or whether he was mis- 


judged, his niece Victoria had a lively feeling of dislike 
for and suspicion of him. He was very angry that the 
King of Prussia had been invited to stand sponsor for 
the Prince of Wales in preference to himself, so the 
Queen, on the birth of her third child, Alice, asked 
him to England to be godfather. He arrived several 
days too late for the ceremony, and showed an almost 
consistent bad temper, which was not improved 
indeed, it may have been partially caused by the fact 
that his royal niece had managed to give precedence 
to the King of Belgium. It was scarcely fair, seeing 
that King Ernest was the son and brother of English 
Kings, but she had consulted Wellington before his 
arrival upon the possibility of doing this, and the Duke 
had replied that the only way was by giving preference 
in alphabetical order. Her Majesty's suspicion, if not 
fear, of him was so great that she gave up having a 
party for Ascot, and stayed away from it herself, rather 
than invite him to Windsor. 

Lady Lyttelton speaks of the precautions taken 
by the Prince for the safety of his infants : " The last 
thing we did before bedtime was to visit the access 
to the children's apartments to satisfy ourselves that 
all was safe. And the intricate turns and locks and 
guard-rooms, and the various intense precautions, sug- 
gesting the most hideous dangers, which I fear are not 
altogether imaginary, made one shudder ! The most 
important key is never out of Prince Albert's own keep- 
ing, and the very thought must be enough to cloud his 
fair brow with anxiety. Threatening letters of the most 
horrid kind (probably written by mad people), aimed 


directly at the children, are frequently received." 
There is nothing published to connect the extreme pre- 
cautions in the Palace with the ambition of the King 
of Hanover, but rumour had much to say on the 

While Hanover was in England the Whigs unsuc- 
cessfully moved that his pension as a Prince of the 
blood should be withdrawn, which had the effect of 
making the Tories befriend him and give great parties 
for his benefit ; so, for the first time in his life, Ernest 
of Hanover was a popular man, and London woke 
from its despairing torpor of resignation induced by 
the Queen's absence to realise joyfully that a Season 
was still possible. Though Queen Victoria would on 
occasions speak of an anxiety to foster trade, she rarely 
made efforts in that direction at any expense to her own 
comfort or whim ; that summer, for instance, she spent 
almost entirely at Windsor, and the London people 
did not fail to blame the Prince for their loss. 

It was generally stated that Prince Albert was 
anxious that she should be in London as much as 
possible, for the convenience of communication 
with her Ministers, but even more did he wish it 
because he was firmly convinced "of the influence 
for good which the presence of a Court, so looked 
up to and respected as was that of England under 
the Queen and himself, could not fail to exercise 
far and wide far, indeed, beyond the circle of its 
immediate neighbourhood." 

This is quoted from the " Early Life of the Prince 
Consort," the Queen's book as has been said, and yet 


she allowed a sentence such as the above to stand. 
The lamentable lack of humour, the comfortable self- 
content, the conscious raising of themselves into an 
example for the whole country, all this helps further 
to explain why Prince Albert was never heartily 
accepted as an Englishman. The boy or girl who is 
most disliked at school is not the naughty or even the 
vicious one, but the one who is consciously good, who 
regards himself or herself as a good example; and 
grown-up folk are but children of a larger growth. 

But to return to the King of Hanover. He, becoming 
at last convinced that the crown of England was finally 
out of his reach, revived his claim, and quite justly, 
for the return of the Hanoverian jewels. When 
George I. combined the Kingship of the two countries 
he brought over these jewels, worth from 59,000 
to 60,000, and they had been so absorbed in, 
so often reset among, the English jewels, that it was 
difficult to say which were which. A person who follows 
simple ethical laws would decide that the restitution 
should be made as nearly as possible, but " pos- 
session is nine points of the law" is a real English 
motto, and so the matter was referred to a 
Commission of three, who managed to spin out 
their enquiry for thirteen years, when the decision was 
given in favour of Hanover. The Prince and Queen 
were reported to be so extremely anxious about the 
jewels that someone remarked that "probably the 
Queen thinks the Salic law was never meant to apply 
to diamonds." 

The rumour that King Ernest hoped to bring about 


the Queen's death by assassination also died down, 
though for long Victoria feared it, as is evidenced by 
her green silk parasol lined with chain mail which 
may be still seen at the London Museum. Oxford's 
example was, however, followed the next year by 
several other silly youths, who presented pistols at Her 
Majesty. In the cases of Francis and Bean the pistols 
were without bullets, and there was no proof that Oxford 
had used bullets either. In all that has been written 
on these incidents no one notices that the Prince was 
in as much danger as the Queen ; indeed, the danger 
was more threatening to him than to her in 1840, for 
he sat between her and Oxford, and was within six feet 
of the pistol. He alone remarked upon that when 
he described the event as endangering " my life and 
that of Victoria." One of her ladies said that the 
Queen looked very pale and anxious on arriving at 
the Palace after this event, and had a fit of crying 
in her room, but such things as these were not allowed 
to be repeated, for the Sovereign must even be above 

Francis, the second aspirant for notoriety, made two 
attempts. The first day the Prince saw the pistol 
evidently pointed at him, for he told Victoria that, 
had it gone off, " he must have been hit in the head. 5 * 
The next day, many plain-clothes policemen having 
been stationed along the way, and " the two Equerries 
riding so close on each side that they must have been 
hit if anybody had " ; the Queen and her Prince bravely 
drove "very quickly" over the same route. Francis 
let off his gunpowder pistol, the smoke of it covering 


the face of the Equerry, Colonel Wylde, and was 
promptly seized, drawing the remark from the Queen, 
" We felt both very glad that our drive had had the 
effect of having the man seized. Whether it was loaded 
or not we cannot yet tell, but we are again full of 
gratitude to Providence for invariably -protecting us ! " 
Without belittling Providence, I may honestly com- 
ment that the Prince and Queen had followed the 
fundamental idea of religion, and while imploring 
God's aid, had thoroughly arranged their own protec- 
tion themselves. It was Colonel Wylde who must 
have been genuinely grateful that Francis had omitted 
the bullet. 

The Queen's danger and the Queen's bravery were 
lauded to the skies, but the words quoted about the 
Equerries are from her own letter to the King of the 
Belgians. Francis, whose real crime was a silly desire 
to know himself talked about, was sentenced to death, 
and he was in despair at the sentence, saying that the 
pistol was not loaded with ball, that he only wished 
to get notoriety, and a home such as Oxford had 
secured, where he could not fear poverty and hunger. 
Her Majesty could not bear the thought of a man 
losing his life through such folly, and he was trans- 
ported. The evening after this attempt she went to 
the Opera to hear Le Prophete, and was enthusias- 
tically cheered. 

The third attempt by the witless Bean was made 
with a mere toy pistol costing three shillings. After 
he had bought it he took it back to the shop, complain- 
ing that it would not go off, and had a flint put in. 


This he pointed at the Queen, but could not discharge, 
as the lock was not strong enough, and later the undis- 
turbed rust showed that it had never been used; the 
hammer clicked, however, and he got deservedly 
for his folly eighteen months in Millbank. 

In 1848 a man named Hamilton went through the 
same farce with a bulletless pistol in the same place, 
and was transported for seven years. However, after 
the first sham attack on Her Majesty no one said 
anything more about the King of Hanover's complicity 
in these affairs. 

But to return to the babies, it was so long since a 
direct heir had been born to the throne that the people 
seemed to imagine that such a matter could not pos- 
sibly be carried through successfully, and it was 
rumoured of the Queen's first two children that they 
were born blind and deformed. This being con- 
tradicted and re-affirmed, led to the facetious sugges- 
tion that the Princess should be displayed under a 
glass case for so many hours a day and the crowd 
allowed to file past and assure itself that she was 

It is curious to note that those papers which 
went in for the very serious, divine origin of 
the infants seemed so often to be weak in grammar. 
Here is a gem ! " The care bestowed upon the Prin- 
cess Royal by its nurse and various attendants are only 
to be equalled by the great anxiety manifested by its 
royal parents for its health and welfare." 

The Christening of the Princess Royal caused the 
circulation of many skits; one of which highly 


coloured gave a continuous picture of the people in 
the long procession who went to the chapel, each with 
a verse beneath. The Bishop was represented pouring 
hot water from a little black kettle into the font, being 
described thus : 

" This is the Bishop so bold and intrepid 
A-making the water so nice and so tepid 
To christen the Baby, who's stated, no doubt, 
Her objection to taking it ' cold without. ' ' 

Just before the birth of the Prince of Wales, London 
City shook with laughter over what it considered a big 
joke, for the news ran like wildfire through the streets 
that the Queen had given birth to twin boys : 

" Among the City, 'twas said, one morn 
That to the Queen two boys were born. 
On which our friend Sir Peter Laurie 
Expressed himself exceeding sorry. 

'Tis grievous, sir, I must aver 

Such deed should not be done ; 
Two boys ! it is too bad of HER 
Who won't mind number one ! " 

The last line is an allusion to the fact that the royal 
babies were brought up by hand, as the Queen's posi- 
tion demanded that she should not give the time 
necessary to nursing an infant. It is said that she 
much regretted this, and would have loved to fulfil 
the full functions of a mother, yet she urged married 
Continental cousins not to take the burden and re- 
sponsibility of doing so. She herself probably never 
really realised how much she had lost by it. 

When the Prince of Wales was born on November 
9th, 1841, there were, the papers say, still greater 


rejoicings. Theatre audiences sang themselves hoarse, 
candles and paraffin flickered behind glass on the 
house fronts, women gossiped and men got drunk, and 
there was everywhere a pleasant feeling that now at 
last England was all right. John Bull, more shabby 
than the year before, is drawn upon again to make fun 
for the million. In one cartoon he enters the Queen's 
bedroom, where the nurse shows him the infant with : 
" There, Mr. Bull, what do you think of our new 
Annual, is it not a splendid specimen?" and he, 
scowling, answers : " Splendid indeed ! and a precious 
sum I expect it will cost 'me annually ! " Victoria, 
smiling on her pillow, whispers to her husband, " How 
delighted he seems, Al, I daresay he will make the 
nurse a very handsome present." 

Mrs. Lilly ought to have been a very paragon of a 
nurse, for Stockmar, that man of detail, laid many 
injunctions upon the Prince about the engagement of 
such a necessary person. " Impress upon Anson the 
necessity for conducting this affair with the greatest 
conscientiousness and circumspection; for a man's 
education begins the first day of his life, and a lucky 
choice I regard as the greatest and finest gift we can 
bestow on the expected stranger." One nurse was 
known as Mrs. Packer, but her real name was Augusta 
Gow, a native of Edinburgh who had been studying 
music at the London Royal Academy with a view to 
becoming a public singer. The choice seems to have 
been rather a peculiar result of " conscientiousness and 
circumspection." What could a musical student know 
of babies ? However, in those days children's nurses 


were no more trained than were sick nurses, so 
probably the only things that mattered were character, 
aptitude, and of course, purity. And why was she 
called Packer? 

Another nurse, who rejoiced in the name of Ratsey, 
was found to be a most undesirable person to attend 
on a little Prince, for Albert entered the nursery one 
morning and heard some such so-called conversation, 
interrupted by gurgles and crows, as this : 

"Now, what's my little popsy-wopsy laughing at? 
Did nursey tiddle her iddle, iddle toes, then ? " 

Such talk could only be regarded as perverted 
education, so Nurse Ratsey was invited to resign her 
post. The comic draughtsmen fastened on this, 
though they heard of it somewhat late, and placed the 
indiscretion upon Mrs. Lilly. H. H. drew the good 
lady dancing the Prince of Wales up and down and 
singing " Hey diddle diddle, the cat and the fiddle," 
etc. Prince Albert is entering the room at the moment, 
and says sternly, " Fie, fie, Madam Lilly; vat you talk 
such nonsense to mine son for? Tell him he be 
Prince of Wales and de Duck of Cornwall, den he 
will understand you much better." 

However, another cartoon made a much more 
serious affair of the delinquency of the nurse, for 
under the heading of Royal Dry Nursing Extra- 
ordinary, the Prince of Wales was shown lying on the 
knees of a young and comely but drunken woman, 
who is holding a long black bottle over his mouth, 
saying, " What ! do you want a drop ? Hie why, you 
little Toper! Hie I wonder who you take after? 


Not your hie Daddy, I'm sure! Hie I'll 
make you a spirited Heir Apparent. Hie ha, ha, 
ha ! " The horrified Queen and Prince are just enter- 
ing the room, the former crying, " Teaching His Royal 
Highness to drink, as I am alive ! " and the Prince 
responding regretfully : " Ah, mein loof , I was mean 
him to be one temperance Prince of Wales ! " Which 
was also a sly hit at the Prince's approval of the 
campaign of Father Mathew, a popular temperance 
reformer of the time. 

" Political Hit " number seven gave a more intimate 
view still of the royal domestic felicity, for it showed 
poor Prince Albert walking about the bedroom, with 
the baby, attired in nothing warmer than a royal shirt 
and nightcap, grumbling : " Ah, ha, by Gar, dis is cold 
work, Madam Lilly ! to walk about all night in de 
shirt dis veder." Plump Mrs. Lilly stirring some baby 
food over a fire is made to respond in a way to delight 
those who did not love the Prince : " Drat the man ! 
why, you do little enough for your living, and ought 
to be thankful you've got a shirt to wear at all." 

The Prince of Wales was not born until after the 
first steps in domestic economy had been made at the 
Palace, and some impertinent person had the quick- 
ness to use that event to raise a laugh against the 
Queen in a cartoon, which showed an enormous uncut 
christening cake upon the table, the Queen arm-in- 
arm with the King of Prussia, turning away from it; 
Prussia, however, murmurs : " I should like a piece of 
that cake." Peel, on the other side, is whispering in 
the Queen's ear, " It is my duty to advise your Majesty 


the strictest economy, so if you keep the cake whole 
it will do for next year ! " To which the Queen 
replies with unction, " It shall not be touched, Sir 

If the whole country rejoiced over the birth of the 
Prince of Wales, there was one little person who 
entirely objected to his presence for a time, and that 
was the Princess Royal, who shared her mother's 
jealous temperament, but had no desire to share a 
baby princess's privileges with an unknown brother. 
" Pussy is not at all pleased with her brother," wrote 
the Queen, three weeks after the little son arrived, 
and this attitude must have remained for some time, 
as the caricaturists crystallised it in their pictures. 

Thus we get an absurd picture of the Queen admon- 
ishing Sir Robert Peel on his famous sliding scale, 
while two nurses, each holding a baby, stand near. 
From the arms of one the Princess Royal is aiming a 
right sisterly blow at little Albert Edward, her nurse 
saying, " Bless the girl, what a temper she has shown 
since young Master came." Poor Prince Albert, the 
picture of a harassed, distracted father, is turning to 
them fiercely with the familiar parental command of 
" Do keep those children quiet ! " 

Another cartoon depicts Peel and Wellington as 
nurses, each carrying a baby, and Wellington expos- 
tulating, " Bless me, how the dear little girl has been 
crying ever since the month of November." 

Of course, it is quite easy to say that these are only 
skits, and have no real reference to truth; yet, apart 
from exaggeration, I find this sort of domesticity well 


authenticated in books which make genuine history. 
As a matter of fact, the two young people were for 
several years even more foolish about their babies 
than are most affectionate young parents, and in spite 
of public demands on their time, they spent a 
large portion of each day playing with their 
human toys. They also regarded the dignity of the 
little creatures with the most deadly seriousness, 
planning their coats of arms as soon as they were born, 
and heaping titles and posts upon their boys, especi- 
ally upon the eldest, with lavish hands. 

In this matter Victoria showed great anxiety to do 
honour to the German birthplace of her husband, and 
determined that the arms of Saxony Prince Albert 
being Duke of Saxony should be quartered with 
those of England for the little Prince; then, having 
made up her mind, she wanted it done at once, seeing 
no need for the usual forms. Peel considered that 
this haste was lowering to the dignity of the Crown, 
and that the Privy Council should adjudge upon it 
and advise it, if it were right , and not just because 
the Queen wanted it. So he wrote letters and saw 
statesmen and gave more time to this insignificant 
affair than many an important national matter received. 
Melbourne would have estimated the thing at its real 
value and assented at once ; and after all, the result of 
Peel's careful work was the decision that it really was 
not worth squabbling about and might as well be done 
as not. So " Duke of Saxony " was not only added 
to the infant's honours, but given the precedence of 
the English titles, much to the disgust of those people 


(From a Painting by Sir W. C. Ross, R.A.) 

From a Print in Mr. A. M. Broadley's Collection. 


who cared about such things. These much-discussed 
Saxon arms were horizontal bars in yellow on a black 
ground with a wreath of rue across it, and I find the 


Queen commenting on her baby girl that she bore 
"her Saxon arms in the middle of her English coat, 
which looks very pretty" and sounds decidedly 
ambiguous. Why does not Heaven allot a better 
sense of humour to Kings and Queens? It must be 
the only quality which could make their position a little 
better than endurable, and yet since Charles the 
Second no monarch has displayed it. Prince Albert 
had none of it and the Queen had none of it, or she 
would never have allowed him to be called from his 
most as well as least important work to carry her 
from her bed to her sofa, whenever she wished it. Of 
this the Queen boasted that to the end of his life he 
would come whenever she called, no matter what his 
occupation; and she showed not the slightest con- 
sciousness that she was exacting and imposed a great 
strain upon him; she only told herself and others 
how strong was his love for her. But those about the 
Prince realised how very trying he found it that, no 
matter what he was doing, he was liable to be inter- 
rupted at any and every moment to consult with his 
wife or attend her in some way. 

In 1844 Prince Albert was made happy at the birth 
of a second son, Alfred, and he, having been preceded 
by Princess Alice, was followed by Helena, Arthur, 
Louise, Leopold and Beatrice. Long before the last 
arrival consternation had risen and had swept through 
newspaper and political circles. In 1841 the Queen 



had thought a large family would be of the greatest 
inconvenience to the country, but it was an in- 
convenience which had to be faced, and it is not 
wonderful that attempts were made to lighten it by 
jests, sometimes grim enough, sometimes merely 
facetious. Of the former kind were those that included 
John Bull. In one sketch, clothed in darns, the thin 
old man leaves his dinner a bloater to jump for joy, 
shouting : " Birth of another Prince ! Huzza, what a 
fortunate old dog I am to be sure. Huzza, what do I 
care for income tax ? " 

"The Scene in Perspective, 1850," one of the 
11 Political Hits," published somewhere towards the 
middle of the 'forties, shows Bull, still thinner, more 
starved and tattered, receiving the Queen and Prince, 
both of them fat and looking middle-aged, while 
behind them come seven couples of children, getting 
smaller and smaller the further they are from their 
parents. Victoria introduces them characteristically 
with : cc Our family, Mr. Bull, I quite envy the pleasure 
you must have in contemplating them, what a happy 
man you must be ! " The Prince, with very com- 
plaisant air, adapts the words of William III. : "Ah, 
ha, Mistare Pull, I tell you, one, two, three, four, ten 
year ago, I come to dis country for your Coots," to 
which John Bull mutters : " Goots, indeed ! You have 
had money and goots too with a vengeance." 

Less venomous and more humorous is the picture 
of Prince Albert as a gardener putting a glass frame 
over a flower-pot, from which the head and shoulders 
of a baby rise, two larger frames holding the Princess 


Royal and the Prince of Wales. The Queen stands 
smiling by the hedge, watching nine other flower- 
pots dated in consecutive years awaiting their covers. 
John Bull, outside the garden and leaning over, says : 
" Hullo, hullo, young fellow ! Come, come, I shall 
have such a stock of them sort of plants on my hands, 
I shan't know what to do with them." 

The Queen was so happy domestically that she 
could hide her satisfaction from no one, and indeed 
was only too ready to express in words her deep-seated 
belief that she was especially favoured by Providence, 
so that all the cartoonists caught at this quality and 
made their drawings turn upon it. Thus someone would 
represent the children in Windsor Park, every face 
wearing a beaming smile, the footmen turning their 
eyes up to Heaven in gratitude for their chance of 
dragging a perambulator or leading a pony, and the 
nurses also betraying their pious delight at carrying 
Royal babies in their arms. 

Other pictures gave news of the nursery, a nursery 
in which a prolific mother keeping only one general 
servant might spend her time. In one of these the 
Queen, grown stout, is sitting by the fire nursing two 
babies, the Prince, also well covered with adipose 
tissue, crawls laboriously, yet delightedly, on the floor 
with a child on his back, another dragging him by a 
cord, and a third whipping him; two or three others 
are playing leapfrog in the corner, while another falls 
off a rocking-horse as the door opens to admit Sir 
Robert Peel, and he receives the little one's head just 
where his portly figure is best cushioned. 

H 2 


Any woman who loved her children must have 
adored a man of such an upright character as the 
Prince, who had so much devotion to give to his little 
ones. Their high position, and the strong contrast in 
this respect between them and those who had occupied 
the English throne for the previous hundred years, 
made such parental love on the part of Royalty a very 
remarkable thing. If some were too ready to turn this 
quality into a joke, there were others, more syco- 
phantic, who did worse. There was published, for 
instance, a steel engraving, dedicated by permission 
to H.R.H. Prince Albert, of "The First Prayer of 
H.R.H. Prince Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, Duke 
of Cornwall, etc., etc." In this the smiling, com- 
plaisant baby sits on immense gold-corded cushions; 
the crown, the feathers, his coat-of-arms, every worldly 
proof of his rank being heaped around him, as he looks 
up to a blaze of light supposed to represent God, and 
prays : 

" O Lord God Almighty, graciously condescend 
to hear my first prayer; may old England, my 
beloved and noble country, be always powerful and 

The exhibition of rank and wealth, the commenda- 
tion of his country, and the prayer for power, surely 
puts the condescension on the side of the infant and 
not on that of God. And an enlightened Queen and 
Prince allowed this atrocity to be published and sold 
everywhere ! 

It reminds me of the fact that some years ago, if 
not at the present time, the pronouns used to denote 


the Queen in the prayer-books at St. George's Chapel 
were always printed in capitals, while those alluding to 
the Trinity were in small letters. 

As for the Prince of Wales's titles, they ought to 
have been numerous enough to overburden his small 
person, and were much caricatured. 

Victoria and Albert clung to form and ceremony 
and saw no absurdity in making such announcements 
as the following when the Prince of Wales was only 
a few months old : " His Royal Highness Albert 
Edward, Prince of Wales and Duke of Cornwall, has 
appointed George Pearse, of Brandwinch, to be His 
Royal Highness's Gamekeeper for Brandwinch, 
Duchy of Cornwall." Judy held the fact up to 
derision by showing us a nice, fat, befeathered baby 
in a high chair, blowing a tin trumpet, who leans 
forward and thrusts a paper inscribed " Royal Letters 
Patent " towards the kneeling gamekeeper ; the Queen, 
Prince Albert, Peel and the nurse looking on with 
interested gravity, the lines beneath being : 

"Of * intellect's march ' the young prince is partaker, 
St. Pearse is gamekeeper, and Albert game maker." 

When he was two-and-a-half the little boy was 
appointed a Governor of Christ's Hospital and " exer- 
cised his influence in that capacity in l favour (of a 
meritorious young gentleman"; just as his younger 
brother Alfred was made a Governor in 1848, upon 
which occasion the Queen sent a donation of 500 
to the Hospital. For such fees it is believable that 


the Hospital would be ready to draw all its Governors 
from the nursery. 

When in 1844 it was rumoured that the Prince of 
Wales, who could hardly talk, for he was very backward 
in this respect, was to have a separate staff of servants, 
not in any way connected with Her Majesty's House- 
hold, the levity was general, and the child was drawn 
in many absurd positions, generally in a high chair, 
flourishing a rattle, with twenty servants bowing 
around him, begging for posts. Punch gave the 
domestics as Master of the Rocking Horse, Comp- 
troller of the Juvenile Vagaries, Sugar-Stick-in-Wait- 
ing, Captain of the Tin Guard, Black-Rod-in-Ordinary, 
Master of the Trap Ordnance, Clerk of the Pea 
Shooter, Assistant Battledore, Lord Privy Shuttle- 
cock, and Quarter-Master-General of the Oranges. 

The little ones began lessons at a very early age, 
and alarming accounts of the precocity of the Princess 
Royal were given. She could speak German, English 
and French fluently when she was three years old, and 
was able to read short words and spell out long ones. 
It is a relief to remember that a three-year-old child's 
vocabulary is a very small one. 

The Queen's view of education was said to be both 
serious, liberal and comprehensive, with a distaste for 
formalism, but she gave in entirely to Prince Albert 
in such matters, and he was guided almost entirely 
by Baron Stockmar, who believed that he had dis- 
covered the secret of success in the way of education. 
For Prince Albert he laid down the rule that the educa- 
tion should be truly English and truly moral, with 


the condition that only the thoroughly moral, intelli- 
gent, well-informed and experienced should come in 
contact with the children, and that the parents must 
have full, implicit confidence in the tutor. He was 
very insistent that the education should begin from 
the day of birth, and would have liked to point to 
George III. as a model character because he was 
believed to be domestically a model man, only he 
could not do that, as the result in the behaviour of 
that monarch's six sons proved that, however much 
and however well they were taught, they turned out 
scamps. Yet some of George III.'s methods were 
reproduced by Prince Albert, notably that of isolating 
his boys from all companions. 

Stockmar's two essential conditions were too 
limited and too vague. It is not possible to make 
morality and Englishism subjects for teaching without 
destroying both, for by talking about them and explain- 
ing them one of two results is attained : either specula- 
tions and arguments are raised in minds too immature 
to deal with them wisely, or the delicate mind is 
biassed towards hard and fast rules and creeds which, 
when maturity is reached, are crude and narrowing. 
The best Englishman is the best man of the country, 
not the one who has learned other people's ideas of 
what an Englishman should be. Englishism, like 
morality, is an atmosphere, and we cannot imprison an 
atmosphere in words. 

Stockmar became more concrete when he added 
that : " The beginning of education must be directed 
to the regulation of the child's natural instincts, to give 


them the right direction, and above all to keep the 
mind pure." This was well enough if it had all been 
accomplished without words, but the idea of purity was 
so often verbally expressed by the Queen that it would 
hardly have passed unused in the education of the 
young people. In those days the power of suggestion 
was not recognised ; it was not realised that an insist- 
ence upon purity would at once start a consideration 
of impurity; and before he died the Prince had to 
garner some of the harvest of the early educational 
mistakes in the ready way in which his eldest son took 
Venus as his guide, philosopher and friend by the 
time he was twenty. 

The Princess Royal was at first neither judiciously 
fed nor well regulated, but when there were three chil- 
dren in the nursery all this was altered; a governess, 
about whom there had been long and serious discus- 
sion, was secured in the person of Lady Lyttelton, and 
other tutors and governesses engaged; Mr. Henry 
Birch (most appropriate name) becoming responsible 
for the Prince of Wales. It is told of him that when 
Prince Albert desired that the boy should not be taught 
the catechism so early this gentleman resigned his post, 
but graciously resumed it on the Prince yielding 
the point. Also a new household system was in- 
stituted, the food given being plain and good, such 
food as children need. 

Prince Albert never forgot Stockmar's tuition on 
education, and went to the schoolroom nearly every 
morning to superintend things; nothing escaped his 
vigilance, for he said : " It belongs to parents rather 


than to tutors to make children religious, pure-minded 
and affectionate." As time went on and the children 
dined when their parents lunched, " on the plainest of 
plain fare," Albert carried his supervision to a per- 
nicious extent, for he made a habit of asking the tutors 
for their reports before luncheon, and going through 
them while at table, administering the scoldings or 
praises which he considered just, though the former 
would to-day be considered extremely severe. So it 
was no unusual thing for all the juveniles to be reduced 
to tears before the meal was over, and to rise from 
the table hungry. Truly a good educational system ! 



IN the autumn of 1841 Sir Robert Peel attained his 
desire and came into office as Prime Minister; only, 
however, to spend the five most disturbed, most 
strenuous and most heart-rending years of his life, and 
to go out with a mere handful of men at his back, 
execrated by almost all those who had been so jubilant 
at his accession of power. To him and his then policy 
we owe that new party, first known as Peelites and then 
as Conservatives, a party which was more enlightened 
and more advanced than that of the violent, autocratic 
Tories, who could not believe that manners and 
customs participated in the universal law of change. 

Peel had bitter enemies and warm friends, who 
among them said he was shy, reserved, unfair, appre- 
ciating fun, honest, dishonest, cold, kindly in fact, 
disagreeing about hirri generally, though they all agreed 
as to his reserve. 

The Queen did not want him, and when Lord 
Broughton said that Peel had spoken well of her in 
his address she remarked : " That is all very well, but 
he and I shall never love e,ach other." She felt then 



that she could not forgive him for his early opposition 
to the Prince, nor could she forget the bitter quarrel 
over her Bed-chamber women. There was also the 
remarkable difference in manner between himself and 
Lord Melbourne. Through very nervousness Peel 
was pompous in his talk and given to lecturing in a 
prosy fashion, and he dared not use the decision which 
Lord Melbourne would express when the Queen pro- 
posed anything he thought undesirable, for he had not 
the influence of his predecessor. 

Melbourne and Peel were the subjects of many 
criticisms when offices were being changed ; the former 
was said to continue occupying the Devil's Tower at 
Windsor, having been engaged in a game of chess for 
the last three weeks ; and " his opponent not having been 
able to take his Queen, the castle was still fortified." 

Judy advised him thus : 

" Fly and roast, my Melbourne dear, 

Prepare for Christmas use 
The usual dishes, all save one, 

For Peel has cooked your goose." 

Among H. H.'s "Political Sketches" is one of the 
Queen leaning back in her chair and saying to her 
doctor, Peel, " I think, doctor, the present system of 
diet does not agree with my constitution; I prefer 
Lamb 1 to anything else." "Yes, but your Majesty 
seems to forget that Lamb is out; try a little minced 
veal with lemon Peel." 

When the change of Government had become a 
certainty the Tory leaders began to marshal their men, 
1 Lord Melbourne's family name was Lamb. 


and found themselves at once faced with a difficulty. 
Many of those who had formerly held office or who 
might naturally expect to hold office now, were scarcely 
of a character to fit in with the new ideal of purity so 
dear to the Queen and Prince, and as it is a well-known 
fact that in such cases it is often the culprit who is the 
last to think he has done wrong, most of them stood 
expectantly waiting, having already selected their 
various posts. Both The Times and The Standard pub- 
lished leaders praying the roues and the most notorious 
members of the Tory party not to force themselves 
just at the moment into the most conspicuous places 
in Her Majesty's Household, as they would not be 
acceptable at Court. And when these gentlemen were 
eventually passed over there was much heart-burning, 
envy and malice. 

On the whole, the Queen-Prince were right, though 
even to such a rule exceptions should be allowed in 
cases of great ability, for the country should not on 
any excuse be deprived of signal services. 

Who is to decide truly as to the moral standard of 
other people? Rumour may always be wrong, and 
the most discreetly seeming person may be the greatest 
sinner. There were stories afloat about the great Duke 
himself; Lord Melbourne and his sister Lady Palmer - 
ston were generally believed to be the children of the 
many-loving Lord Egremont; and Melbourne him- 
self had twice once most unjustly been made co- 
respondent in a divorce suit; Lady Conyngham, 
received by the Queen, and whose husband was Master 


of the Horse for some years, had been mistress to 
George IV. ; the then Duke 61 Buckingham, whom the 
Queen elected to honour with a four-days' visit, had no 
good reputation, and Palmerston had not been held 
impeccable. Even Queen Adelaide herself had at one 
time been the subject of wanton scandal. Of course, 
the demand for personal purity in all those who filled 
public or palace posts was a counsel of perfection, one 
which could not accurately be fulfilled, but it did to 
some extent raise social and public life from the 
degradation into which it had sunk through the ex- 
ample of George IV. and his friends ; and it gave the 
first impetus to that saner, healthier standard of living 
which has waxed through the years, though it has by no 
means yet come to perfection. 

However, the many troubles about offices and posts 
were eventually settled, and Peel also began to form 
friendly relations with his Sovereign. By a certain 
deferential treatment, by an open expression of 
admiration for the Prince, and by the tact and courtesy 
which he was quite able to use, the Prime Minister 
began to remove the strong feelings of dislike which 
animated the Queen towards himself. The papers 
gradually moderated their language ; The Times, 
which had hastened to insult Victoria the Princess and 
her mother while William IV. lay dying, and had 
repeated the insults as soon as the Princess became 
Queen, now went to the other extreme, condescending 
to publish flattering articles, and assuring its readers 
that Her Majesty was superior to Elizabeth and 


Anne as a model for female sovereigns. As in 
matters of this sort reason is seldom shown, it was 
soon rumoured not only that Victoria was friendly with 
Peel, but that she had thrown herself as completely on 
to his side as she had recently been on the side of 
Melbourne. So that when Peel opened the subject of 
Bank Charters in the House, a lampoon described him 
as extending his hand and asking : " What is this I 
have in my hand ? " To which a Member replies : " A 
sovereign," drawing the remark from Peel : " The 
honourable Member is perfectly right. (A laugh.) He 
might perhaps be pardoned the expression when he 
said that he had a sovereign under his thumb. (Loud 
laughter.)' 5 

This was not true when it was uttered ; in fact, it was 
never quite true, though Victoria's youthful habit of 
leaning on the man in power made it largely so before 
Peel finally went out. 

From the first Peel's position was difficult, for at 
heart he was neither Whig nor Tory, or perhaps he 
was both; in any case, once he was in office circum- 
stances forced his views until they became too 
advanced to please his own following, and not 
advanced enough to please the Opposition. He 
found himself called upon to face an awful situation, 
and had the courage to look at it steadily, make up 
his mind as to what should be done, and do it. His 
Premiership was a martyrdom, for he was howled at 
by every party in turn, and stung almost to death by 
Disraeli, who was appropriately drawn by one 
caricaturist as a wasp. 


In all the attacks upon Mr. Asquith or Mr. Lloyd 
George there has been nothing so wanton and so bitter 
as those upon Peel by a number of his own men known 
as the " young England party," led by Disraeli, who 
was at that time ready to back any policy which would 
help him to prominence. 

Victoria opened the Session of 1842 personally, 
which showed that she was determined to make the 
best of a bad matter and give her uncongenial Minister 
every public support. The distress in England was 
so acute at the time that her Speech was awaited 
eagerly, and was found very disappointing from its 
vagueness and want of promise. In the words of one 
grumbler : 

" When Victoria went to Parliament, 

The deuce a word she said 
About the state of England, 

The Corn Laws or the bread. 
They did expect she'd something say, 

To smoothen out the bother, 
But the speech was full of nonsense 

From one end to the other. ' ' 

However, the first thing that Peel did to mend matters 
was to bring in his Bill for the " Sliding Scale," which 
provided for taking off half the duty on corn. As 
this was regarded as a direct blow to farmers and to 
the landed interests, a murmur rising to a roar was 
heard all over England, except in those cities and 
places where " chalk and alum and plaster were sold to 
the people for bread," or where they were living on 
potatoes, for the English as well as the Irish had come 
to that. All over the country bonfires were built and 


Peel's effigy burned, which was quick work, as he had 
only been in office a few months. 

When an income-tax of sevenpence in the pound 
was introduced as a temporary tax and at the same 
time a revised Customs tariff abolished or lowered the 
duties on seven hundred and fifty articles out of twelve 
hundred, both parties began to think the heavens were 
falling. Yet for a time Peel's party remained fairly 
pliable in spite of its grumbles, and the popular 
opposition to his measure was loudest among the 
newspaper and song writers, voicing, as many of them 
did, the complaints of the more well-to-do. In 1839, 
when the marriage of the Queen was in contemplation, 
and the Whig Government, horrified at the yearly 
deficit, tried to convert it into a balance by taxing all 
sorts of things, the popular cry was : 

"They will tax the periwinkles, 

They will tax the children's toys, 
They will tax the German sausages, 

Black puddings and saveloys, 
And for to raise some money 

For the wedding of the Queen, 
They will tax old maids and bachelors, 

That are turned seventeen. ' ' 

But now, though the sentiment of resistance to taxa- 
tion remained, the song dealt not with periwinkles 
and children's toys, but with the great of the land, and, 
because of his secession from principles which would 
have been acceptable to such, Peel was dubbed a 


I quote the following broadside in its entirety, as 
it shows by whom the Prime Minister was held in 


reprobation, and further, by satiric intent, takes no 
account of the submerged tenth to whom it was hoped 
that some escape from their destitution would be 
ensured : 

"To political critics who pore o'er the news, 
And all Cabinet measures approve or abuse; 
Has not Bobby, the rat, found the way to clink 'em, 
By placing- the long-dreaded tax on the income. 

Poor Bobby, your foresight was sure in a fog, 

Or your senses bewildered and muddled with grog ; 

What folly, what madness, the rich to cut down, 

To take gilt from the mitre and wealth from the crown. 

Our Queen and Prince Albert are maddened with rage, 

And hint pretty boldly you should sit in a cage ; 

*D n my plood,' says Prince Albert, 'is this my fine 

Am I almost a King, and must part with my carriage? ' 

E'en the young Prince of Wales, as being heir to * the nation,' 

By means supernatural, holds conversation 

' Oh, naughty Sir Bob, you and I von't be cronies, 

How dare you to tax my nice phaeton and ponies ? ' 

The Bishops, those lights of the world, too, are kneeling, 
And pray for your fall with a good deal of feeling ; 
Yes, even the Judges declare that they're danged, 
If you had your deserts you would surely be hanged. 

The Lawyers and Doctors have held consultation, 
And declare one and all you have ruined the nation ! 
And Daniel 1 declares as he casts up the Rint, 
That post-haste to the divil you ought to be sint. 

Old annuity Maidens and Widows with pension, 

With rancour and hatred your name daily mention ; 

Yes, even the clerks you have helped to get places, 

When they dare, put their hands to their nose and make faces. 

1 Daniel O'Connell, the Irish leader. 


Poor Bob, what a scrape you have got into at last, 
You are paying at present for sins that are past, 
And well you deserve it such ratting acts, sink 'em, 
The Corn Tax on one hand, on the other the income. 

Refrain : 

You have put all the great little folks to the rout, 
And they cry one and all in a rage ' turn him out. * ' 

Over the income-tax rose a little domestic trouble 
in the Palace. The Queen, being by nature generous 
and just, announced her determination to claim no 
exemption from this tax ; which by no means met the 
view of Prince Albert, who was most anxious that no 
precedent should be created in acknowledging any 
obligation to the country in money matters. So the 
offer was withdrawn. 

Punch gave a graceful cartoon of the Queen, stand- 
ing on her doorstep and handing money to the tax- 
collector, a benevolent-looking Peel with his pen in his 
mouth. Prince Albert, hat on the back of his head, hands 
tightly clenched in his pockets, and evidently uttering 
angry protestations, stands behind the Queen. Other 
and slightly later caricatures were not quite so com- 
plimentary to Victoria. At this time the Duke of 
Wellington perhaps to pay off past favours loyally 
backed up Peel, so we find him as doctor's assistant 
holding a basin when Dr. Peel goes to bleed Her 
Majesty. She receives him with : " You see, Doctor, 
I have not the least objection to lose a little, but why 
did you not stick entirely to Mr. Bull?" To which 
Peel answers : " I do not intend to forget the old 
gentleman, who, by the way, at all times bleeds very 


freely, but I think it necessary to extract a little of 
the surplus from about the Court." The Prince, 
standing by the Queen's chair and backed up by- 
various frightened people, is saying in fear : " Doctare, 
it is of no use to try and bleed me, I have not noding 
to spare." 

In the end the Crown lawyers were called in, and, 
as might have been anticipated, decided that any 
idea of their sovereign paying the income tax was a 
mistake and that she was fully and honourably 

One incident which happened at the end of 1842 
raised much amusement, and was the cause of endless 
gibes at the Prime Minister. He received as a New 
Year's gift two rolls of velveteen (then a new invention) 
of a green colour, from the manufacturer, a Mr. 
Barlow, of Ancoat Vale Works, in Lancashire. Peel 
accepted the velveteen and wrote as follows : 

" I am much obliged by your kind attention in send- 
ing a specimen of the beautiful manufacture which 
accompanied your letter. Lady Peel admires it so 
much that she will convert one of the pieces into a 
cloak for her own wearing ; the other I shall apply to 
my own use." 

Punch says that Peel ordered it to be made into 
trousers. Early in January a paragraph appeared in 
the Manchester Guardian advertising the velveteen, 
announcing the fact that Sir Robert Peel had been 
good enough to accept a short length of it, and that 
the design represented a stalk and ear of wheat, 
grouped, or rather thrown, together very tastefully, 

I 2 


" with a small scroll peeping from beneath bearing the 
word ' Free. 3 " 

Peel, who had not examined the details of the stuff, 
indignantly gathered together the velveteen, cut and 
uncut, and sent it back. He was at that time being 
attacked by the Whigs for not deciding at once on 
the total repeal of the Corn Laws, a policy which the 
Queen in the end strongly favoured, and it is most 
likely that he was beginning to vacillate on that point, 
so Punch rubbed in the affair of the velveteen. " We 
have no doubt whatever that, as far as a cloak might 
have been got out of the stuff for himself, Sir Robert 
would have had no objection to retain the velveteen as 
a provision for future accidents, keeping it on or 
putting it off as the wind might blow, or the sun might 
shine; but when once the velveteen was made into 
trousers, when once the Minister had donned so 
succinct a garment, it must become to him a sort of 
tight-fitting principle, not under any circumstances to 
be put aside, with the least respect for usages of 
honourable society." 

As soon as the belief that the Tory leader had found 
favour with the Queen gained ground, popular Tory 
sentiment towards the Sovereign began to change; 
and with the birth of a Prince Her Majesty's virtues 
as a Queen and a wife were assured for a time at 
least. Hitherto it had been the custom to drink the 
health of the Dowager Queen with musical honours, 
which was really an expression of the anger of the 
Tories against the Queen Regnant. For Adelaide, 
though drawing 100,000 a year from the Exchequer, 


kept no Court, gave no entertainments, and had always 
been unpopular, excepting with those few who, know- 
ing her well, appreciated the sweetness which her 
narrowness of mind could not stifle. 

One paper gave the following sarcastic advice to 
the wild Tory generally : " That when the health of 
the Queen is drunk at Tory dinners, a certain quantity 
of 'ironical cheers' shall be thrown in in order to 
keep up a show of loyalty, convenient at the present 
season to be ostensibly maintained. 

" That whenever the health of the Queen Dowager 
is proposed on similar occasions, the guests shall be 
requested to e bottle up ' their extra admiration for 
that illustrious personage, and so 'moderate the 
rancour' of their applause, as to avoid the appear- 
ance of an invidious and just now most impolitic 

^$That notwithstanding the intense veneration felt 
by every true Tory for her Dowager Majesty, Con- 
servative orators are forbidden to dwell at any length 
on her marvellous virtues, lest it should be imagined 
that our gracious Sovereign, whom it is particularly, 
for many reasons, desirable to flatter and conciliate, 
possesses no virtues at all." 

In fact, old Tories were advised to smother their 
feelings on this point, and, however strong their pre- 
ference for the Dowager, to see the need of being 
"preciously hypocritical." 

Public interest in the Dowager waned in propor- 
tion as Victoria recognised that she was Queen of 
both parties and of all her subjects. It was a hard 


lesson for her to learn, for, in addition to past matters, 
she could not get over Peel's awkward manners, and 
she thought him strikingly ignorant of character, which 
made it difficult to respect his judgment. Some idea 
was raised, towards the end of 1841, of asking Parlia- 
ment for an increase in the allowance made to the 
Prince, but the Queen was firm in refusing to have this 
suggested; she said nothing should induce her either 
to send Peel to the House with such a message or to 
accept such a favour from those Ministers; Peel might 
now be regretting his action concerning the grant, but 
it was, and was intended to be, a personal insult to 
herself, and was followed by opposition to her private 
wishes on the precedency question, in which latter 
Wellington took the lead, as Peel had done in the 
Commons against the grant. She never could forget 
it, and no favour to her should come from such a 
quarter. Thus did she deliver herself to George 

The last favour that she had received from the Whig 
Parliament was a grant of 70,000 to rebuild the 
stables at Windsor, which housed one hundred and 
twenty horses; the extravagance of this grant pro- 
voking much discussion at a time when such a large 
number of her people were in want of the necessaries 
of life. 

Of Peel's supporters, the Duke of Wellington, who 
loathed the Corn Law repeal, was in the end one of 
the firmest, for he generally first considered the 
dignity of the Crown. On the admittance of the 
Tories to power, the Duke had the pain of finding 


that he had more or less lost his prestige in the House ; 
a younger race had come to the fore, who knew him 
not as a leader, and they were inclined to think little 
of the old giant. Disraeli, of whom some one has said 
that he was "genius without conscience," with his 
dyed curls, his dandy ways, his superficiality, his 
radical training and instincts, his ready wit and direct 
method of abuse, took the place of leader to these 
younger men, and he had little use for one whom he 
considered worn out. So Wellington found his 
advice disregarded, his wishes forgotten, and grew 
irritable and moody. Yet he was popular enough 
with the public, for once, on his going late to a concert, 
the singing was stopped, while the audience rose 
en masse, wildly cheering. 

When the Queen begged him to uphold Peel in 
passing his measure on Free Corn he consented, but 
with regret and suppressed anger; indeed, from the 
autumn of 1845 to tne summer of 1846, he lived con- 
stantly in an almost uncontrollable state of irritation. 
As he said, " Rotten potatoes have done it all ; they 

put Peel in his d d plight." He was not quite so 

severe as Lord Alvanley, who declared that " Peel 
ought not to die a natural death." Alvanley did not 
live to know of Peel's tragic end. 

During the violent debate on the measure, some 
great landowner asked the Duke to allow a Committee 
of Enquiry to be formed on the burden the Act would 
put upon the land. He refused the request, but, being 
worried again and again, at last said : " Well, my good 
fellow, you must have it. I will not oppose it; I am 


quite of your opinion on the subject; it is a d d 

mess, but I must look to the peace of the country and 
the Queen." 

That many people hated the Prime Minister for his 
change of view was amply proved when, at the be- 
ginning of 1843, his private secretary, Edward 
Drummond, was fatally shot in Whitehall by a 
Scotchman named Macnaughten. Peel, when in 
Scotland on Her Majesty's first visit there, drove 
much with the Queen, leaving his secretary to drive 
alone in his carriage, so Macnaughten, who declared 
that the Tories had ruined him, came to London, 
watched Peel's house, and, seeing Drummond go in 
and out, assumed that he was Peel and murdered him. 
He was acquitted on the plea of insanity, and confined 
in Tothill Fields Prison, a verdict which raised intense 
indignation in the country, as everyone was convinced 
that the man was not insane. 

No Government could ever have had a more dis- 
tressing period of power, for starvation stalked the 
land ; severe rains had spoiled the harvests for several 
years, the heavy tariff on foreign corn made it pro- 
hibitive, and the only way of meeting the difficulties 
had been to impose fresh taxes on other foodstuffs 
and create preposterous Poor Laws. The Hungry 
'Forties is well known as a phrase at the present day, 
though few now really realise the acute distress which 
then spread, not only over the British Isles, but over 
the whole European Continent. The high price of 
bread, the want of work, the enslaving of women and 
little children in factories and workshops, raised in- 


tense public bitterness and anger against the rich, and 
it was not easy for a woman in such a prominent posi- 
tion as Queen Victoria ever to do right in the opinion 
of all people. All sorts of curious recommendations 
were made her in the interest of the poor, which, if 
followed, would sometimes have had no effect at all. 
Joseph Hume, for instance, made the absurd demand 
during the Income Tax discussion that the gold lace 
should be stripped from the clothes of the Queen's 

The Queen was contemplating the issue of a per- 
sonal letter authorising the clergy to make an appeal 
to the public on behalf of the distressed; and by the 
irony of things it was at that very same time June, 
1842 that the gold coinage was found to be light, 
and a Royal proclamation relating to it was issued. 
Thereupon a panic followed, not on the Stock Ex- 
change, but in all the poor streets of London. The 
workman who was so fortunate as to take a pound on 
Saturday discovered that some of the shopkeepers 
would not accept it as current coin, others would only 
give nineteen or even eighteen shillings in exchange, 
and a report quickly spread that the Queen had called 
in all gold sovereigns at nineteen shillings each, and 
that after July only fifteen shillings would be given 
for them. Everywhere was anger, rebellion, and con- 
fusion, for if gold had lost its value what was there 
to depend upon? and at last eighteen shillings was 
eagerly taken as a fair exchange for a golden 
sovereign. So keen was the distress at this time that 
Peel actually had half farthings issued, that the very 


poor might have facilities for buying the smallest of 
small quantities. 

During this trouble, the words " light sovereigns " 
were caught up, and applied to reigning people, 
and in spite of the discontent generally with com- 
pliments to Queen Victoria. A clever cartoon 
was done at the time, in which the Queen a 
delightful figure weighs down the scale, though the 
other side is crowded with Louis Philippe, the King 
of Hanover, the King of Austria, the King of the 
Belgians, the King of Prussia, and a shadowy sixth, 
who from the insecurity of his position ought to be 
Pope Pius IX. 

The Comic Album probably expressed the feeling 
of the country for, bad as England was, the other 
European countries were then in yet more parlous state 
when it said : 

" Examine the whole regal bag, 

And weigh out the Sovereigns in lots ! 
There's Harry the Eighth, who was heavy, 
And Mary the light Queen of Scots ! 
And while over History ranging, 

Both ' heavy ' and * light ' there may be, 
I've one that I'd never be changing, 
Victoria's the Sovereign for me." 

A little later Ireland being in a flame, Dan O'Con- 
nell, that wonderful orator, having been very active, 
was put on his trial ; the Church and the Puseyites in 
England, and the Church and the Seceders in Scot- 
land, were at war ; the stalwart Rebecca was fighting 
grotesque abuses in Wales, and behind it all was the 

From a Print in the Collection of A. M. Broadley, Esq. 


knowledge that a blight had fallen upon the potatoes, 
which gave Peel the fear of a terrible famine. But 
to this latter calamity the public gave no thought. 
Absurd pictures and still more absurd lines circulated, 
making fun of most things, though whether these 
troubled Peel it is not easy to say. He was depicted 
as the master of a corn-grinding machine, which 
ground poor people and Irish folk into high rents for 
the landlord. He was a doctor, Dr. Sangrado Peel- 
'em-bare, with little labels hanging all round him from 
innumerable pockets : 

"Dr. Sangrado Peel- 'em-bare 
Requests once more a trial fair, 
If relief my patient ' axes ' 
Of Corn laws, Tariff, Income-taxes, 
I've still a large supply on hand 
To meet the popular demand." 

In caricature Peel was the butt of all sides ; in the 
House he was being looked on as the general enemy. 
Lord John Russell, " that cunning little fox," was ever 
ready to attack; the heavyweight, Lord Brougham, 
who always thundered against those in power because 
he could not regain the Chancellorship, was also on 
the watch to harass him. 

"There was an old Broom of St. Stephens, 
That set all at sixes and sevens, 

And to sweep from the room 

The convictions of Brougham 
Was the work of this Broom of St. Stephens," 

was Punch's witty way of summing him up. 

Brougham's lasting disappointment about office is 


indicated in the following lines, as well as his great 
success as a law reformer : 

" Since I first came from Scotia, sans shoe or shirt, 
I've been chiefly engaged in the carting of dirt, 
Trying to clear it, and trying to thin it, 
(When there's been any dirt, I was sure to be in it). 
I've clean 'd out the Courts, and clean 'd out the lanes, 
But now they have turned me adrift for my pains." 

Disraeli's second-in-command was Lord George 
Bentinck, "the most ignorant man that ever led a 
party," said Lord Broughton; and these two, with 
Lord Malmesbury and the Duke of Richmond, did 
all they could to make Peel's life impossible. They 
were all at him, the terriers, the retrievers, the mastiffs, 
the mongrels; while Peel, like a bulldog, hung on 'to 
his task, and never let go till he had completed it. It 
is not necessary to follow all that happened through 
the process of the struggle ; what is important here is 
that the Queen and Prince were soon heart and soul 
in it, for, following the course of events as they did, 
they could see nothing but the free importation of corn 
to relieve the people. 

That Peel was up against a very awkward corner, 
and that he was honestly convinced that Free Trade 
in Corn was the only possible course if he would avoid 
prolonged public suffering and revolution, is unques- 
tionable. Behind him, he had the Anti-Corn-Law 
League, the most powerful league not excepting the 
old Orange league ever initiated in the country; he 
had the Whigs, many of the Tories, the Queen and 
her Court, and against this overwhelming majority in 


numbers and influence stood the monopolists alone, 
Peel felt that only pertinacity and bravery were 
needed to ensure success. 

A sign of the universal trouble and the doubt of 
Peel was a cartoon of the Queen, the Prince, and Peel 
looking over London from a balcony of the Palace, 
up the columns of which Melbourne and Russell are 
trying to shin. Great buildings are falling, crowds 
rushing about in a mad state, and O'Connell as a comet 
is speeding to Dublin, crying, " Here's all St. Giles 
at my tail, St. Paul's going down and whiskey's going 
up." " Do you feel assured, Sir Robert, that we are 
perfectly secure here ? " asks the Queen. " Believe 
me, Madam, I do not feel the least shaky," he replies. 

Another cartoon, from the Tory side, shows him 
acting the part of thimble-rigger on the green with 
Lord Brougham and another standing irresolutely by, 
while the Queen in high cap and cloak, acts as tout 
for her confederate, with a basketful of wigs, coronets, 
ribbons, and George collars, singing : 

"Come, buy my pretty trinkets, my collars, jewels, garters, 
Bishop's wigs, Chancellor's wigs, coronets, and charters, 
Any honest lad at Bar or Church may suit his mind, 
If so be he can win of the thimblerigger behind." 

John Russell, a small boy, looks on with derisive grin. 
In 1844 the Government were beaten by a majority 
of twenty on the sugar duties, a majority which in- 
cluded some of Peel's own men, and he was so angry, 
so disgusted at the personal animus shown against 
him, that he determined to resign. The Queen was 



in a panic, dreading such a course desperately for 
fear of having to " send for the friends of her youth," 
as one cynic put it. In a letter to King Leopold she 
wrote that "we were in the greatest -possible danger 
without knowing to whom to turn" and that Peel's 
resignation would have been for the whole country 
a great calamity, "we have been quite miserable and 
quite alarmed ever since Saturday." 

Nothing could exceed the exasperation against Peel, 
nor the exasperation under which he laboured ; but the 
Queen begged him to remain by her, the Cabinet met 
several times, and then on the Monday following 
agreed to adhere to their measure, and to resign alto- 
gether if again beaten. Peel's speech in the House 
rather increased than lessened the annoyance, yet the 
second trial brought him a majority of twenty-two, and 
the former amendment carried against him was re- 
scinded. This is an incident which was repeated, with 
some differences, in the House during the autumn of 
last year, 1912, on an unimportant amendment rushed 
through in an hour by the Unionists upon the question 
of Home Rule. 

When the Queen opened Parliament in February, 
1845, some one wrote that she was pleased to go down 
to Westminster and treat her Parliament to a dish of 
pancakes, which were prepared by that great and care- 
ful cook, Peel, while Her Majesty supplied the sugar 
and Brougham the lemon. 

Almost the first business of the Session was a ques- 
tion as to the truth of the assertion in the Chronicle 
that the title King Consort was to be conferred on the 


Prince. This assertion was a canard, but it was one 
that the Queen would have liked to make the truth, 
for by that time the Prince was King, guiding the hand 
that held the pen, and the Queen did nothing without 
his advice. So long as nothing was said about it no 
one cared, but as soon as it was mentioned publicly 
Englishmen first pretended to feel afraid of Germany, 
and then determined to snub a presumptuous marion- 
ette Princeling, who was exceeding the antics pre- 
scribed for him by his employers, the British Public. 

The Queen in writing to Peel was quite fair in the 
matter : " The title of King is open assuredly to many 
difficulties, and would perhaps be no real advantage 
to the Prince, but the Queen is positive that something 
must at once be done to place the Prince's position on 
a constitutionally recognised footing, and to give him 
a title adequate to that position." 

She had to wait for that desired result just as long 
as the King of Hanover had to wait for the return 
of the Hanoverian jewels. 

Then a Bill was brought in to help the Irish by in- 
creasing the grant to the Roman Catholic College of 
Maynooth, and all England went into a fine frenzy 
over Catholic persecutions and Protestant virtue; the 
Bishops put on all their secular armour, and half the 
Tory party flung scorn at their leader, who carried the 
measure in their teeth. Victoria was a good Church- 
woman, and she showed a real sense of her position and 
of her responsibilities to all classes of her subjects, 
whether Protestant or Catholic, on this occasion, while 
being roused to wrath on " the bigotry, the wicked and 


blind passions " shown. " I blush for Protestantism," 
she said, " as a Presbyterian clergyman said very truly, 
' Bigotry is more common than shame/ ' 

Then the terror of the potato blight fell upon the 
Isles, appearing all over them, also in Sweden, 
Belgium, and Holland, where at once steps were taken 
to see that the people had food. But the first piteous 
results of it were apparent in Ireland, and Peel could 
foresee what was to come ; famine, complete disorgani- 
sation, social war, for which the English, on being 
asked for bread, were to give the stone of coercion. 
Peel wanted to pass a measure for the temporary free 
import of corn into Ireland, but the idea was received 
with such a tumult in the Cabinet for it was felt that 
to let go of Protection temporarily was to let it go 
for ever that he dropped it. Even his attempt to 
reduce the duty on imports so as to give starving people 
more chance was bitterly opposed by the landlords in 
the Cabinet. 

Then as Lord John Russell publicly announced a 
scheme for Free Trade, and as Peel, sent to Parlia- 
ment as a Protectionist, had been by stress of events 
convinced that Free Corn was the only course, he 
resigned, promising the Queen that he would support 
Russell as Prime Minister, and use all his influence 
with the House of Lords to prevent their impeding 
the new Minister's progress. 

Queen and Prince were again miserable. Now they 
did not want the Whigs in power, they did not want 
" Johnny," they wanted Peel, and they hoped to keep 
him. Perhaps Peel was so distressed at his Queen's 


distress that the keeping of his word was too difficult, 
but certain it is that when John Russell said that he 
would be in a minority unless he had Peel's support, 
the retiring Minister gave an evasive and guarded 
answer, in which he left every door open to allow of 
escape. Russell pressed for a more definite reply, but 
did not get it. A further hitch in the arrangements 
was that Lord Palmerston must be included in his 
Cabinet, and would not take any office but that of 
Foreign Secretary. 

In 1840 Victoria and Albert had had their feelings 
so worked upon against Palmerston by King Leopold 
that they were in great fear of him. It was a family 
matter ; Leopold had married Louise, daughter of King 
Louis Philippe; Palmerston, fully appreciating the 
French King's character, had sternly refused to yield 
to him over the Turkish- Egyptian war of that year, 
and Leopold, taking the side of his father-in-law, 
accused Palmerston of being the personal enemy of 
Louis Philippe, of wantonly frustrating his schemes, 
and of being eager to rush England into war. It had 
frightened the two young people, and they naturally 
felt an affinity for Kings which led them to believe 
that Kings could do no wrong; indeed, the one and 
only compensation for losing Melbourne had been 
that they also lost Palmerston. 

Now, in 1845 he was to come back to his old office, 
in which he would certainly cause war with France, 
break the entrancing friendship between themselves 
and the dear good King, Louis Philippe, and plunge 
all Europe into a conflagration ! Could not Peel, 



really, couldn't he save them from these terrible 
calamities ? 

When Lord John went to Victoria she told him 
definitely that Palmerston must be given the Colonial 
Office and not the Foreign Office, and she begged 
Lord Aberdeen to support her objections to Palmer- 
ston in political circles. Lord Grey also refused to 
act with Palmerston, and so Lord John, after being 
kept dangling a week by the irresolute Peel, declared 
that he could not form a Government, and Peel slid 
automatically into place again; as Disraeli said in his 
flamboyant way, " Russell handed back with courtesy 
the poisoned chalice to Sir Robert." 

The Queen was filled with joy, saying jubilantly to 
Peel when he came, " So far from taking leave of you, 
Sir Robert, I must require you to withdraw your 
resignation and to remain in my service." The Prince 
asked Wellington if he did not think Russell had 
behaved very badly in keeping Her Majesty a week 
without a Government, and Peel solemnly assured his 
Royal mistress what he would have died rather than 
have said to Russell that had the latter taken office 
he would have acted towards him with the most 
scrupulous good faith and have done everything to 
give him support. The fact was Peel wanted to do 
the work himself, but for form's sake had to pretend 
to give the originator of the idea first chance. Witty 
Punch published a cartoon of Peel as the Artful 
Dodger, saying to Oliver Twist (Lord John), who sits 
on a doorstep with his bundle by his side : " Oh, how 
green you must be to think you could form a Ministry." 


On the reassembling of Parliament, the majority of 
the Tories went over to the Opposition, the Whigs 
supporting Peel, and there was no end to the songs 
made about the great transaction. Some of the pretty 
words current in the debate which followed are in- 
dicated in the following lines from " old Mrs. Morning 
Post to her naughty, naughty boy " : 

" That Robert there will be my death, 

He will, as sure as fate. 
Come here, Sir, come, don't answer me 
You ' loathsome ' reprobate. 

You nasty, gross, ' plebeian ' boy, 

I saw you, little pigs, 
You and Dick Cobden in the dirt, 

Running all sorts of rigs. 

' You thought ? ' why, bless the boy ! what next ? 

To scrunch his pretty toy 
What business, Sir, have you to think? 

You naughty, naughty boy." 

Punch also made a parody of a certain nursery tale : 
" There was a little Lady who had twenty-four million 
babies, and she wanted to get cheap bread for them, 
but she could not because of the Corn Law. So she 
went to the Lords and she said : ' Lords, Lords, repeal 
this law, or I cannot get cheap bread for my babies.' 
Then the Lords said to her ' Pooh ! We are the landed 
interest ; what do we care for your babies ! The Tories 
to a man will stand by us ! ' So she went to the Tories 
and she said, ' Tories, Tories, desert the Lords ; the 
Lords won't repeal the law and I cannot get cheap 
bread for my babies/ Then the Tories said to her : 
'Madam, we have no objection to eat dirt; we do it 

K 2 


every day ; but at present we are under the orders of 
the Duke.' So she went to the Duke and she said " 
etc. ; the final result being that " Cobden began to 
reform the League; the League began to become a 
Fact; the Fact began to frighten Peel; Peel began to 
speak to the Duke; the Duke began to order the 
Tories; the Tories began to desert the Lords; the 
Lords set to to repeal the Law ; and so the little Lady 
get cheap bread for her babies." 

Dizzy and Bentinck had plotted together to destroy 
Peel, and Bentinck began the game by accusing Peel 
of persecuting Canning, " hunting him even to death," 
in 1828, when that statesman had died through over- 
work as Prime Minister. He accused Peel of treachery, 
lying, and inefficiency, attacking him with a coarseness 
and violence which disgusted all but those to whom 
scurrility and insolence were really palatable, and 
doing everything he could to ruin Peel's character. 
When Peel, astounded at the unexpected and absurd 
charge, answered Bentinck successfully, Disraeli 
launched it in a new and bitterer form, using every 
trick of his peculiar rhetoric to drive his equally 
peculiar charge home, " in this House the vulture rules 
where once the eagle reigned ! " He hacked and 
mangled Peel with most unsparing severity, positively 
torturing his victim. Charles Greville, who was a 
Tory, said that it was a miserable and degrading spec- 
tacle. The whole mass of the Protectionists cheered 
Disraeli with vociferous delight, making the roof 
ring again; and when Peel spoke they screamed and 
hooted at him in the most brutal manner. When he 


vindicated himself, and talked of honour and con- 
science, they assailed him with shouts of derision and 
gestures of contempt. Through the speech Peel sat 
white, wretched, reduced almost to tears, and when 
at last the false sentiments and resonant sentences 
stopped, asked the House to suspend judgment, and 
went out. 

Three days later he made a most complete refuta- 
tion of all that had been charged against him, of which 
Disraeli himself said : " There never was a more 
successful explanation." 

Among Peel's last words were these : " I shall leave 
a name execrated 5y every monopolist, but it will be 
remembered perhaps with gratitude by the poor, to 
whom I shall have given untaxed food." 

When he left the House after this speech about 
a hundred people stood in the street awaiting him, 
who raised their hats as he appeared, and then at a 
short distance followed him as a bodyguard to his 
home. Whether it was a mark simply of respect or 
an attempt to protect is not recorded, though the 
authorities in those days considered it needful to care for 
their prominent politicians. When Sir George Grey was 
Home Secretary in Lord John Russell's Government 
from 1846 to 1852, he sent for the Sergeant-at-Arms 
one day and said : " I don't think it quite safe for Lord 
John to walk home from the House to Chesham Place 
in the middle of the night. He is a small and feeble 
man, and there are bad characters about in Birdcage 
Walk and Pimlico. You had better tell the Superin- 
tendent of the House of Commons police to have him 


watched home." The Sergeant did so, and the 
Superintendent cheerfully replied : " Oh, that's all 
right. Lord John is always watched home and so is 
Sir George Grey. But we don't let them know, because 
we don't want to frighten them." 

The very day that the Corn Law Bill passed the 
Lords, the Protectionists and the Whigs who had no 
longer any use for the Prime Minister combined to 
defeat the Government on the Coercion Bill, and Peel 
went down to Osborne to give in his resignation, 
begging of the Queen, as a reward for what he had 
undergone, that she would never again ask him to take 
up office. She accepted his resignation with deep 
regret, knowing that now there was no hope of escaping 
from Lord John and Palmerston. "We have felt so 
safe with Sir Robert . . . knowing that he would 
never let monarchy be robbed of the little strength 
and power it still may possess." 

Peel represented a middle party, a progressive 
Tory, such as suited Royalty then, but for the old 
crusted Tory the Queen still had no partiality, and the 
wild men among them gave her fresh cause for dis- 
pleasure, for on the day that Peel made his speech 
declaring that he would support total abolition of the 
Corn duties, Prince Albert went to the House hoping 
to listen to a fine debate; with the result that Sir 
George Bentinck, in verbose language, accused him 
of "allowing himself to be seduced by the First 
Minister of the Crown" to go there and give 
the semblance of the personal sanction of Her 
Majesty to a measure which it was believed by 



the majority of the landed aristocracy would ruin 

So the Prince never went to a debate again, which 
was a deprivation to him, and, I think, one also to 
the public, as it prevented this show of interest on 
the part of the Court. 



ONE of her subjects for whom Victoria was 
erroneously said to have a liking was Daniel 
O'Connell, the brilliant Irish patriot who, according 
to Cyrus Redding, was one of the few men who dared 
bid defiance to a world in defence of a great principle. 
Jt was he who, seeing one of his attackers in the 
House reading his speech under cover of his hat, 
parodied Goldsmith in his reply : 

" And still they gazed and still the wonder grew 
That one small hat could carry all he knew." 

Early in her reign Victoria had been drawn to him, 
for, like a true Irishman, he was extravagant in his 
praises and professions of loyalty to his Sovereign. 
"A Little Blarney" was the title of a drawing of 
O'Connell sitting smilingly by Victoria holding one of 
her hands and gently patting it, Peel and Wellington 
behind the Queen's chair gloomily looking on. 
O'Connell himself thoroughly believed in the 
Queen's friendship; and when the Irish Lord Chan- 
cellor declared publicly that Her Majesty was deter- 
mined to prevent repeal, O'Connell promptly re- 


sponded that it was a lie, whereupon Peel was forced 
to admit that Victoria would do all in her power to 
retain the Union. 

After her marriage, when Albert impressed upon her 
how dangerous to the Empire he considered the Irish 
repealer to be, she no longer felt any favour for him, 
and heard of O'Connell's influence over his country- 
men with uneasiness, realising with anger that at his 
word a crowd of ten thousand, fifty thousand, on one 
occasion a quarter of a million people would gather 
to listen to him. At this great meeting two followers 
presented him with a cap of green and gold, which 
the Illustrated London News said was not less outre 
than the infantry cap invented by Prince Albert. At 
O'Connell's trial the Attorney-General persisted in 
calling this his crown. 

In 1843 an d 1844 O'Connell was tried for seditious 
conspiracy with all the cleverness and judgment which 
England has ever extended to Erin. That is to say, 
that every Catholic was struck off the jury list, a pro- 
ceeding regarded in England as an act of madness, 
and in Ireland as one of brutal injustice and insult. 

This trial was definitely between O'Connell and 
the Crown, and in spite of the popular and righteous 
indignation at the packing of the jury, Queen Victoria's 
only desire about it was that he should be condemned, 
so it was a foregone conclusion that the verdict should 
be against him; though in his desire to please 
the mighty the Chief Justice went too far. He 
imposed a year's imprisonment and a fine of 2,000, 
in addition to which O'Connell was to enter into 


securities himself in 5,000 and two sureties in 
2,500 each to keep the peace for seven years. And 
Victoria had either the ignorance or the callousness to 
write to her uncle, "O'Connell being pronounced 
guilty is a great triumph ! " 

At the trial Judge Barton shed tears over the 
sentence, and the members of the Junior Bar applauded 
the accused. Popular belief still, however, regarded 
the Queen as his friend, and believed in the spirit of 
a cartoon by H. H., in which Daniel kneels in a den 
surrounded by lions wearing the heads of Wellington, 
Brougham, Peel, Melbourne, and Russell, while Vic- 
toria looks down at him from a hole in the wall, a 
shaft of sunlight going from her to him, and he looking 
smilingly up at his young Sovereign. 

The sentence was so indecently unjust and such a 
mortal weight upon a Government which was trying to 
reduce dissatisfaction in Ireland, that the House of 
Lords reversed the judgment on the grounds that " the 
whole Protestant jury, the partiality of the Chief Jus- 
tice, the division of opinion between the judges them- 
selves, and the political character of the judgment, all 
pointed to a biassed decision." 

So O'Connell was released, but his power was 
gone; and three years later he died in Genoa on his 
way to Rome, all the Consuls except the English 
being present at the funeral service, the representa- 
tive of the United States wearing his official robes. 

Those who wished to save Ireland from disaffection, 
rebellion, and treason uttered the prayer : " Let the 
Queen come to Ireland; let her show her sovereignty 


there as she has done in Scotland. She can visit 
France, Germany, and Belgium ; she can go again and 
again to the Highlands; then let her also come here, 
and prove that the Irish are her people." 

The Queen's abstention meant the withdrawal of 
the nobles and landlords from the island. Ireland 
was not to them a place to live in, to work in, or to 
spend money in ; it was not worth while there to foster 
trade or agriculture, for it was remote and despised ; its 
only use was that money could be drawn from the stone 
huts in the fields and from the farmers who struggled 
to live by the needs, not of the rich, but of the poor. 
So the cry rose incessantly about the throne, " Come 
to Ireland," and the Queen feared to go, her husband 
feared to let her go or to go himself, and the Queen's 
Ministers feared yet more to let her go or to go them- 
selves. Like the great sea serpent, the report rose 
every year that she was going, and every year until 
she had sat on her throne a round dozen of them the 
report proved false. Deputations waited upon her 
from Dublin, and in 1845 tne Lord Mayor of that city 
headed one such, declaring to her that the mere rumour 
that she was coming to Ireland filled every heart with 
gladness. To him she replied with compliments, 
saying : " Whenever I may be able to receive in 
Ireland the promised welcome, I shall rely with con- 
fidence on the loyalty and affection of my faithful 
subjects." In 1846 the report was so fully believed 
that it was decided to fit up in a superb manner the 
Chapter Room of St. Patrick's Cathedral, the work to 
be completed in three months, because it was thought 


that when she came she would hold a Chapter of the 
Order of St. Patrick as George IV. had done in 1821. 

But she did not go, though it was quite evident that 
she realised she ought. She wrote to Lord John 
Russell, saying : " It is a journey which must one day 
or the other be undertaken, and which the Queen would 
be glad to have accomplished, because it must be dis- 
agreeable to her that people should speculate whether 
she dare visit one part of her dominions." Lord John 
shelved the matter on the score of expense, and the 
inadvisability of encouraging Irish proprietors to lay 
out money on show when the misery and distress of the 
people were so acute. His economy was well meant, 
though it was wrong, for the presence of the Queen in 
Ireland would have taken over so many people and 
so much money that the island would have gained, 
not suffered. 

By then the creeping evil of famine had got its grip 
on the country, and what it effected in Ireland it is 
impossible to describe. England was bad enough. 
Some newspapers published weekly columns showing 
how to mix beet with flour, how to make soup with 
vegetables, and in general how to get blood out of a 
stone. The most wild-cat schemes were publicly 
advised to a bitter people. Several hundred scientists 
met to discuss what they called " famine bread," and 
among their recommendations were the use of yams, 
turnip-bread, sugar-beet, mangold-wurzel, carrot, red 
beet, parsnip, artichoke all of which would have been 
dearer than flour. But the very crown of their ideas 
was Icelandic moss, ground and mixed with half flour, 


or hay treated in the same way. Moss-bread was 
bitter, they allowed, but the hay was sweet and high- 
flavoured, though of a dark and repulsive colour. 

The Prince made use of this meeting, and The 
Windsor Express published the following paragraph 
about his kindness and liberality : " Kind Considera- 
tion of Prince Albert. At a time when the potato 
disease is employing so much of public attention, it 
cannot be otherwise than gratifying to know that His 
Royal Highness Prince Albert has, with the kindness 
which is so prominent a feature of his character, caused 
the distribution, by the resident clergy, in several dis- 
tricts, of extracts from a speech delivered by Dr. Buck- 
land, Professor of Geology, at the Town Hall, Bir- 
mingham; wherein the proper treatment of the potato 
under existing circumstances is set forth. The useful- 
ness of these extracts will be generally acknowledged, 
and His Royal Highness will receive the thanks which 
his meritorious conduct so highly deserves ! " 

The Duke of Norfolk made a suggestion which 
caused his name to be cursed from one end of England 
to the other, one which in the recent agitation over the 
Veto Bill was brought up again and again in speeches 
to prove that the Lords were villains. He advised 
hungry people to throw some curry-powder into water 
and drink it if they wanted to appease their hunger. 
This advice was caught up in almost every paper and 
bandied about in every circle of society : 

"Confound those Dukes for saying, what the world will ne'er 


That with curry-powder, beans, and starch poor folks might 
manage yet." 


One does wonder whether this advice was a stupid 
attempt to point a way to alleviation of pain, or whether 
it was pure cynicism; in any case, coming from a 
tremendously rich man and offered to the destitute, 
it was asinine. 

In Ireland disease went hand-in-hand with famine, 
and crime came to complete the terrible trio. So that 
in the end no fewer than two million people were lost 
by starvation, disease, the law, and emigration. 

Then Victoria tried homoeopathic treatment by 
ordering a day for national fasting, humiliation and 
prayer, which order was announced as follows in 
the Court Circular : " At the Court at Osborne 
House, Isle of Wight, present the Queen's Most 
Excellent Majesty in Council, Wednesday, 24th 
March, 1847, was appointed for a General Fast. A 
splendid entertainment was served up after the 
Council to the Ministers, Nobles and Bishops who 

Evidently the decision had to be fortified with a 
good feed, and the Bishops and others thought that 
sufficient unto the 24th of March was the misery in 
Ireland and elsewhere. 

So England's little Queen was prevailed upon to 
order her subjects to shut their shops, to refuse to 
eat, to go to church and to pray, because their 
brethren in Ireland were starving. They were to 
humiliate themselves and so turn away the wrath of 
God. It is so easy and comforting to make God the 
scapegoat of our own sins and follies, to throw our 
moral responsibility upon Him ! As some cynic once 


remarked : " To lay our wickedness on God is the very 
monkey trick of piety." 

The order was obeyed, by some in spirit, by most 
in form. The Queen and Prince went solemnly to 
church, after which they probably ruminated upon 
events, or perhaps Prince Albert explained to his 
Queen the utter folly, the irreverence and the 
economic stupidity of the fast, for he had more 
thought in his little finger than a whole half-dozen 
of the wise counsellors who proposed the idea had in 
all their complicated brains. But whatever he did 
there was that two o'clock dinner lost to him, the meal 
of the day, from which no other inducement in the 
world would have kept him. 

Then think of the Palace kitchen, cold and empty, 
no joints roasting for the servants' dinners ! Think 
of the pages and housemaids, the no, I won't say 
the cooks, they kept the keys of the larders the 
ladies-in-waiting and the equerries, looking furtively 
at each other and each wondering how everyone else 
felt. Think how they all waited and waited until the 
dread in this case the blessed midnight hour struck \ 
and then with what joy they sat down to a delicious, 
hot supper. Why ! that supper was worth all that 
had gone before, only some were so hungry that they 
gobbled the Queen and Prince did, I am sure, for 
neither was delicate in table manners. 

All these people were, it is true, put to a little incon- 
venience, which mattered to no one, but there were 
those other people who had to pay twice over for 
the royal luxury of fasting. The food shops were 


shut and the baker's man, the butcher's man and all 
the other men and women engaged in other shops, 
not only went fasting but lost their day's pay; the 
labouring man, already face to face with want, had 
to be idle for a mere sentiment, not only he but his 
babies had to fast for two days to please the vagaries 
of Her Majesty's Bishops and Her Majesty's own 
complaisance with those vagaries. 

If there had been more sense and less nonsense 
talked at the Council, the wise men might have hit 
upon the plan of asking for a day's income from the 
Queen and from the Prince, from the nobles and the 
Bishops, from the sinecurists and the millionaires, and 
so down through every grade of society, until they 
came to the poor. That would have done good to 
Ireland and an injustice to Providence would not 
have been perpetrated; though probably Providence 
did not mind. 

The matter was, of course, not overlooked by the 
wicked satirists of the time : 

"Beggar-boy: Teacher, what is a General Fast? 
Teacher: A day, boy, set aside 

By holy Church for sinful men, 
To mortify their pride, 
By never eating all the day 
Of meat, boil'd, roast, or fried. 
Boy: Is that it, teacher then ain't me 
And poor old mother pious? 
For days and days a bit of meat 
Has never come anigh us : 
And since to starve is to be good, 
Why let each well-fed sinner, 
Just suck his thumbs on General Fast, 
And give the poor a dinner." 


Really, the poor young Queen who was old 
enough, however, to have known better was most 
horribly ill-advised, for her next attempt to meet the 
case only plunged her people further into distress. 
It is not stated that this new idea was carried out for 
the health of the people, and it may just as likely 
have been another of the good, judicious Prince's 
domestic economies. 

Two kinds of wheat, " firsts " and " seconds," were 
in use, the first being Essex White and the seconds 
Baltic Red. Naturally, the inhabitants of the Palace 
were fed on the best wheat, which cost twenty-five 
per cent, more than the other. But now that the 
time of stress had arrived the following order was 
issued by the Queen and Prince, though only Her 
^lajesty's name was used: "Her Majesty, taking 
into consideration the present high and increasing 
price of provisions, and especially of all kinds of 
bread and flour, has been graciously pleased to 
command that, from the date of this order, no de- 
scription of flour, except seconds, shall be used for 
any purpose in Her Majesty's Household, and that 
the daily allowance of bread shall be restricted to one 
pound per head for every person dieted in the Palace. 
By Her Majesty's command, Fortescue, Board of 
Green Cloth, May I2th, 1847." No wonder "Famine 
in High Places" became a favourite headline in the 
papers, and sarcastic paragraphs appeared under the 
title of " Palace Bread." Think of the Marchioness 
of Douro and the Duchess of Sutherland, Lady 
Jocelyn and the Hon. Miss Stanley, each beautiful 



enough to live on a lemon ice for a twelvemonth in 
poetry being told that they are not to have more than 
a weekly couple of quartern loaves apiece until Baltic 
Red was down to 565. and Essex White had fallen to 
about 705. ! 

That the remarks were not always " quite nice " it 
may well be believed : 

" Our loving Queen it may be seen 

Has ordered, I confess, 
Her home no other bread shall eat 

But what is second best. 
She sent Prince A. the other day 

Into a baker's shop, 
For a stale three-farthing penny roll, 

To make the children's sop." 

As must have been expected, other people followed 
their Sovereign's economic example, the Carlton Club, 
other large establishments, and many of her nobles, 
with the result that the poor were doubly deprived, 
for the price of seconds flour rose until it equalled that 
of the best, and the want grew more bitter. It is not in- 
credible that that being so, interest in Royal functions 
took an inquisitive turn, that notes were made of the 
extravagance which went hand-in-hand with parsi- 
mony at Court, and that the papers commented on 
such happenings as the following, guilelessly pub- 
lished in the " Court Circular," the information in which 
was passed by Prince Albert. At this time the Grand 
Duke Constantine of Russia was a guest of Her 
Majesty, and one dinner at Windsor Castle was thus 
described : " The magnificent St. George's candela- 
brum was placed in the centre of the table, which 

From a Painting by J. Hayter. 


was brilliantly illuminated with candelabra of large 
size, richly sculptured in gold. Rows of gold dishes 
were ranged the entire length of the table, the larger 
sort resting on eagles of silver gilt, and on the 
plateau among the different centre pieces were 
arranged several beautiful plants in flower inserted 
in vases of silver gilt. A buffet of gold plate was 
erected at each end of the hall, that at the eastern 
extremity containing a number of racing cups, in- 
cluding the Lincoln Cup and Two Goodwood Cups, 
won by Fleur-de-lis, the property of George IV. 
Among the remarkable articles on the buffet was the 
brilliant huma composed of pure plates of gold closely 
inlaid with precious stones, with pearls for eyes, and 
suspended from its beak a large and valuable ruby." 
In such surroundings seconds bread, and that limited 
in quantity, was eaten ! 

Lord Campbell tells in his "Life" that he went 
to dine with the Queen, but whether his account was 
simply facetious or really exact it is a little difficult 
to know. " The greatest delicacy we had was some 
very nice oatcakes. There was a Highland piper 
standing behind Her Majesty's chair, but he did not 
play as at State dinners. We had likewise some 
Edinburgh ale. The Queen and the Ladies with- 
drawing, Prince Albert came over to her side of the 
table, and we remained behind about a quarter of an 
hour ; but we rose from table within the hour from the 
time of our sitting down. A snuff-box was twice carried 
round and offered to all the gentlemen : Prince Albert 
to my surprise took a pinch. On returning to the 

L 2 


gallery we had tea and coffee." It certainly gives 
a very homely idea of a royal dinner. 

That confidence in the Queen's justice was shaken, 
particularly among the very ignorant, is shown by the 
following paragraph clipped from the Bedford Times: 
" Great consternation has pervaded certain classes at 
Luton from the belief in a rumour that the Queen 
had ordered all children under five years of age to 
be put to death if the scarcity of provisions continued. 
One poor woman was seen to weep bitterly at the 
contemplation of the probable calamity. . . . ! " 

Lord George Bentinck was simply brilliant in a 
speech he made in the House over the famine, when he 
affirmed that to suit Peel's policy a sham cry had been 
got up about the failure of the potato crop a year earlier. 
Now he was sorry to say that that pretence had be- 
come a reality. This time there was no sham, but he 
greatly feared that this sad reality was the just 
vengeance of Providence for the great ingratitude 
which had been displayed in needlessly complaining 
of his bounty. 

What a royal panacea a day of fasting and humilia- 
tion must have been to such a mind ! 

In spite of mistakes and a too ready acquiescence 
in an unnecessary domestic economy, Victoria was 
warm-hearted and compassionate. She felt festivities 
to be out of season, and talked of giving in charity 
rather than spending on herself. At which idea Peel 
remonstrated : "I am afraid the people would only 
say that your Majesty was returning them change for 
their pounds in halfpence. Your Majesty is not per- 


haps aware that the most unpopular person in the 
parish is the relieving officer, and if the Queen became 
relieving officer for all England she would only find 
her money go a very little way, and get more grumbles 
than thanks." 

Then Victoria expressed a wish that all ladies 
attending her Drawing Room should wear dresses of 
English manufacture, and to encourage trade she gave 
a great fancy dress ball. That so frivolous a pro- 
ceeding should much annoy a section of the com- 
munity was inevitable, and apropos of it one sour 
preacher declared from his pulpit that " When Charity 
took to dancing it ceased to be Charity and became 
a wanton." 

The first of these balls was in 1842, when the guests 
were respectively Knights and Dames of the time 
of Poictiers. The gowns were described in a gorgeously 
illustrated volume issued afterwards, some of the 
pictures of which are given here, representing the 
costumes which were worn by the Queen and the Prince 
on that occasion. Her Majesty founded her gown 
upon that of the effigy of Queen Philippa on 
the tomb in Westminster Abbey. Her hair was 
encased in a network of gold, embroidered in precious 
stones, and the crown was formed of graven gold, 
ornamented with a single jewel, which cost the enor- 
mous sum of 20,000. The underdress was of blue 
and gold brocade of Spitalfields manufacture; the 
surcoat was of ponceau velvet bordered and faced 
with ermine ; down the centre of the stomacher was a 
band of jewels laid on gold tissue, and the girdle, 


only visible at the sides, was studded with jewels. A 
mantle of gold and silver brocade lined with ermine 
completed the Queen's costume. 

The Prince, who also copied his clothes from the 
tomb in Westminster Abbey, wore a long tunic of blue 
and gold brocade, the collar, fitting closely round 
the neck, being embroidered thickly with jewels; this 
tunic was slit in the centre up to the knee, and was 
embroidered at the edges to match the collar and 
wristbands; -scarlet hose, scarlet shoes embroidered 
in gold; over the tunic a mantle of scarlet velvet, 
bordered with gold lace set with upwards of one 
thousand large pearls. This was lined with ermine 
and fastened across the breast with a band of purple 
velvet studded with diamonds, rubies and emeralds, 
a turquoise of enormous size in the centre. The 
whole of the materials were of British manu- 

In considering this description one wonders what 
people were made of seventy years ago, to be able 
to drag about such a weight of clothing. Think of 
the little Queen dancing in several garments of velvet, 
one lined " throughout " in ermine ! Of course, in 
ordinary life women then wore a much greater weight 
than they do to-day in cotton garments and petticoats, 
and so they were somewhat trained to it, but what a 
waste of strength and energy it implies. I wonder if 
the small size of women at that period was caused 
by this burden ! 

The Illustrated London News, which had not long 
come into being, reported this ball very fully, and 


wishing to embrace the whole family, added the fol- 
lowing nonsense : " Besides, there were our future 
King Ich Dien and his pretty sister, who had got 
a glance at the Royal Edward and Philippa on their 
way to the bal masque. As they lay in their cradles 
of state the sound of revelry temptingly broke in 
upon their gentle repose, conjuring the lively mille 
et une nuit dreams of infancy." As "our future 
King Ich Dien" was only just six months old, I 
fancy he was scarcely impressed either with the 
costumes or with the music. 

One of the most amusing and graceful skits upon 
this ball showed the dancers on pantomime horses, 
the Queen and Prince in the centre, Palmerston as 
Cupid behind them, Melbourne in cap and bells 
looking triumphantly at Peel, as though saying : " I am 
still the favoured one"; Brougham as a Scotch 
warrior; O'Connell as Bacchus, holding aloft the 
shillelagh of Repeal and led by his page " Johnny " ; 
Peel in the dress of a leech, dubiously watching the 
Queen from a corner; and Hume the economist holding 
up a slate which announces that two and two make four. 
This was while Peel was still uncertain of his standing 
with Victoria, and Melbourne was writing frequent 
letters quite innocent of politics to his beloved 
Sovereign and pupil. It was a neat and witty summing- 
up of the political relations with Royalty. 

Concerning this event two young men, Richard 
Monckton-Milnes (later Lord Houghton) and Charles 
Buller, wrote a jeu d'esprit, which was taken with 
enormous seriousness by the people generally. They 


fabricated a debate in the French Chamber of Deputies 
and sent it to the Morning Chronicle, which published 
it as " by express." M. Berry er was supposed to have 
asked in the Chamber, " Whether the French Ambas- 
sador (M. de St. Aulaire) in England had been invited 
to the bal masque to be given by the haughty descen- 
dants of the Plantageriets for the purpose of awaken- 
ing the long-buried griefs of France in the disasters of 
Crecy and Poictiers and the loss of Calais"; and, 
"Whether M. de St. Aulaire was going with his 
attaches with bare feet and halters round their necks, 
representing the unfortunate Burgesses?" M. de 
Lamartine was supposed to follow, and reproved the 
speaker for talking of the vilification of France, 
saying that France could well afford to leave to each 
people its own historical traditions : "Ah ! let them have 
their splendid guinguette that people at once so grave 
and frivolous. Let them dance as they please, as long 
as the great mind of France calmly and nobly traverses 
the world." Other members of the Chamber added to 
this fictitious debate, and M. Guizot closed it with 
the announcement that the Queen gave the ball because 
she wished to educate her people by a series of 
archaeological entertainments; but that, in deference 
to the susceptibilities of France, M. de St. Aulaire 
would represent the Virgin of Domremy he would go 
as Joan of Arc. 

The really funny part of this published joke was 
that everyone took it seriously. Lord Houghton tells 
in his " Monographs " that Sir James Graham rushed 
into Sir Robert Peel's room, crying : " There is the 


devil to pay in France about this foolish ball ! " It 
was discussed at the Clubs, and translated into the 
French papers, among which the Commerce indig- 
nantly protested against allowing the dress of " a 
woman so cruelly sacrificed to British pride to be worn 
on such an occasion." Another French paper sug- 
gested getting up a ball in Paris at which the Duke 
of Orleans should be William the Conqueror. The 
Irish Pilot said how strong an evidence of the bad 
feeling in France against England was this discus- 
sion; and the Dumfries Courier spoke of the 
debate " as one of the most erratic and ridiculous 
scenes that ever lowered the dignity of a deliberative 

Mr. Broadley, in his " Boyhood of a Great King," 
points out that at this time the French paper Le 
National had a little joke of its own against England, 
one which the English papers, notably The Times, 
took seriously and reproduced. It was to this effect : 
: The Government of Queen Victoria, and even her 
dynasty, have, at this moment, to contend against a 
kind of opposition which was unexpected, and which 
in France would appear exceedingly droll. The 
greater part of the Anglican clergy pretend that the 
young Prince of Wales, having been baptised by a dis- 
senting Minister, is therefore incapable of ever becom- 
ing King of England. In England the head of the 
State is at the same time head of the Church, and 
the clergy therefore think that the National Church 
would lose its priority and even be destroyed if at 
the head of its hierarchy were to be placed a Prince 


who had not received orthodox baptism. The Bishop 
of London and his clergy have already protested 
against the legitimacy of the succession of the Prince 
of Wales to the throne ; the Bishop of Winchester has 
followed the example, and not a single clergyman of 
his diocese has failed to sign his protests. The whole 
University of Oxford has expressed itself in the same 
way, and it is announced that the Bishop of Exeter 
is earnestly and successfully getting up a similar 

Upon reading this, some wag asked through the 
papers if the Church was not in danger, seeing that a 
dissenter had made the Prince of Wales's first pair of 

Lord Campbell complained, in reference to the 
Poictiers ball, that the Queen's ball was not managed 
so well as her balls had been when the Whigs were in 
power-" they were more miscellaneous, and all parties 
were invited"! It was rather sad that he should be 
called upon at last to meet the despised Tories in Her 
Majesty's drawing-rooms. 

In May, 1845, another fancy ball was given at the 
Palace, which was distinctly less picturesque than the 
first, for it illustrated the period from 1740 to 1750, 
and our proud British aristocracy saw themselves 
tricked out like Pantaloons, in the ugliest and most 
absurd costume that ever was invented. 

This time the Queen borrowed her clothes from 
among those of old Queen Charlotte, and appeared in 
hoop, puffs and frills, powder, and high-heeled shoes. 
The dress was of gold tissue, brocaded in coloured 


flowers, green leaves, and silver. It was trimmed with 
point lace over red ribbon, and looped up with red 
satin bows, but the bizarre effect of gold and scarlet 
was spoiled by the broad blue ribbon crossing the mass 
of colour. The Prince was in crimson and gold, with 
his Spanish Order of the Golden Fleece as well as 
the George, and both Queen and Prince put as many 
brilliants and diamonds as possible upon their gar- 
ments. At such a ball, which is a spectacle first and a 
dance next, it seems to me that jewels in number are 
admissible. It is like a pageant or a pantomime, and 
the more colour and sparkle the better. 

This ball, which included among the guests the 
Duke and Duchess of Nemours, son of Louis Philippe, 
was much more criticised than the first, to which people 
had gone with as much curiosity as pleasure, for now 
both political and social affairs were more critical. 
Punch's cartoon was entitled, " Children at Play': 
Come, dear Nemours, and look at my dolls," in which 
the Queen was represented with her chief doll, Prince 
Albert, in her arms, while she is pointing out a number 
of others in the armchair : Peel, Johnny, Wellington, 
Lyndhurst winking over the clothes he is wearing 
and others. 

George Daniel, the author of " Democritus in 
London," paid Her Majesty the doubtful compliment 
of calling this ball a " galvanised resurrection of Mon- 
mouth Street masquerading." His description was not 
quite correct, for the balls he meant were given by the 
notorious Mrs. Cornelys in a house on the east side of 
Soho Square, which was sometimes known as Mon- 


mouth Square. At this lady's "ticket" balls all the 
celebrities, including the Prince Regent, used to 
appear. Old Q. was often seen there, as well as the 
Duchess of Kingston, who went one night as Iphigenia, 
" in a state almost ready for the sacrifice," to quote 
Horace Walpole. 

In the same satiric volume are to be found the fol- 
lowing lines on this ball : 

" Me a merry Andrew you may 
See at fancy Bal Costume", 
Figuring with fantastic groups, 
Antique stomachers and hoops, 
High heel'd shoes and stockings roll'd, 
Rouge and diamonds, grease and gold ! 
Such as a la mode were reckon 'd 
At the Court of George the Second." 

But Democritus was right in using the word " gal- 
vanised." It was just the spontaneity of youth which 
was lacking, for the Queen's pleasure was law, and a 
number of quite respectable and elderly people had to 
dress up in absurd clothes and pretend to like it. 
Think of the dear old Duke of Wellington getting 
hold somehow of a Field Marshal's costume made a 
hundred years and more earlier, and being announced 
as the Duke of Cumberland. That he rummaged out 
the clothes is evident, for the scarlet coat hung loosely 
about him, and the other things were so baggy that 
his thin legs seemed lost, and he looked more shrunken 
and decrepit than anyone had ever before seen him 

Sir Robert Peel hated dancing with all his might, 
but he had to dance and try to seem pleased, his one 


satisfaction being that the plain Georgian Court dress 
which he had chosen made him appear most stately. 
Lord Lyndhurst solved the trouble of clothes by 
wearing his Chancellor's robes, and being twitted with 
the fact, replied : " The Lord Chancellor never dies; 
he is always the same." 

For some reason Lord Brougham received no invita- 
tion, and was in consequence furious, and Brougham 
angry was always Brougham talkative. So on the first 
opportunity he attacked the Prince in Parliament con- 
cerning Barry, the architect of the new House of Lords, 
who would not or could not say when the Lords could 
take possession. As the Prince was Chairman of the 
Royal Commission of Fine Arts, Brougham hinted 
that Barry was sheltering under the Royal influence, &c. 

The Prince had no desire to let any man think he 
had a grievance against him, so as an olive-branch Lord 
Brougham received a Royal invitation to dinner. He 
accepted and went, but either he got bored or he did 
not realise what was expected of him, for, the dinner 
over, he calmly left the Castle instead of going with 
the rest of the men into the gallery, as everyone was 
expected to do, that the Queen might talk with each at 
her leisure. This, of course, annoyed Victoria, who 
regarded it as an affront. 

Then it was Brougham's turn to be repentant, and 
he tried to condone his action by graciously appearing 
at the next Drawing Room. Lord Campbell says that 
at this function " again he was unfortunate (although I 
really believe he wished to be civil and respectful) by 
speaking to the Queen ex mero motu as he passed her, 

. ' . t t M 1\ 


and telling her that 'he was to cross over to Paris in 
a few days, where he should see Louis Philippe, and 
that if Her Majesty had any letters or messages for 
the King of the French it would give him much 
pleasure to have the honour of being the bearer of 
them.' " One can imagine Victoria's haughty surprise 
at this familiarity. 

The Polka, which had been working a lively passage 
from Bohemia through St. Petersburg, Berlin, and 
Paris, was danced into London by Carlotta Grise and 
M. Perrot. Its appearance at Her Majesty's Theatre 
in 1844 was quickly followed by its adoption in the 
drawing-room, and though at first Victoria refused to 
countenance it, she could not resist it long, and it was 
danced at a State ball in this year. Silly as it sounds, 
Society went mad over it, and there were polka hats, 
polka jackets, polka boots, and polka ties. Its praises 
were sung in the streets and its steps practised at the 
street corners : 

" Oh ! sure the world is all run mad, 

The lean, the fat, the gay, the sad 
All swear such pleasure they never had, 
Till they did learn the Polka. 

First cock up your right leg so, 
Balance on your left great toe, 
Stamp your heels and off you go 
To the Original Polka O ! " 

My desire to describe the Queen's way of alleviating 
national distress has put Ireland the subject of this 
chapter in the background, and it is as well to return 
to it in conclusion. 

In 1848 a Galway paper announced that the Queen 


had passed Port Patrick on her way to Scotland, and 
that it was the first sight of Ireland she had ever had. 
" Have we not reason to complain that Her Majesty 
will not honour us with a visit? Are we not as loyal 
and as good as the Scotch ? Oh, but then we are the 
mere Irish ! Well ! the Queen has actually looked 
at Ireland; next time we hope she will land on our 

In 1849, twelve years after her accession, Victoria 
and Albert actually did go to Ireland in state, taking 
the Prince of Wales and the two eldest Princesses 
with them. They landed in the Cove of Cork that 
its name might be changed to Queenstown, then went 
to Waterford Harbour and to Kingstown Harbour. 
Everyone has heard of the wild enthusiasm, the fervid 
loyalty, which this visit brought to light in the Irish, 
who are a people who neither suffer nor rejoice in 
silence, and everyone has heard of the old lady who 
cried out : " Och, Queen dear, make one of them 
Prince Patrick, and all Ireland will die for ye ! " 
Indeed, so hilarious was the joy that it was impossible 
not to see in it the frantic endeavour of a misjudged 
and hot-tempered people to prove that at heart they 
were staunch, though long years of neglect had made 
them outwardly rebellious. Lord Houghton spoke of 
it as " idolatrous, utterly unworthy of a free, not to say 
ill-used, nation." But then Ireland was not and is not 
free. No dependent country which has to exist under 
conditions so unfavourable to its agriculture, its 
commerce, and its social standing as Ireland is a free 


On re-embarking at Dublin, the Queen sealed her 
victory over the Irish people by jumping on to the 
paddle-box of the steamer to wave them a last fare- 
well, and by having the Royal Standard dipped three 
times that she might do them honour. Thence the 
Royal party went to Belfast; thence to Loch Ryan, 
the passage being so rough that the Prince said "the 
sea was positively unpleasant to look at." Perth, 
Glasgow, and Balmoral finished their travels. 

The visit was, of course, celebrated in song, as in 
the following, which I have never seen in print, but 
jot down from oral tradition : 

" When the Queen she came to Dublin, 

Sure we wished her health to thrive, 
So the darlint Duke of Leinster 
Thought he'd trate her to a drive. 

"So she got on his outsider, 

And before they had gone far 
Says she, ' I likes the joltin' 
Of your Irish jaunting car.' ' 

After this there was no end to the expressions of 
affection for their Sovereign from the Irish, who 
claimed her as a native of their country, saying that 
Queen Victoria was but another way of writing Coinne 
Vochtara, which in the old Irish meant " chief woman," 
sovereign, or governing lady. The Irish also declared 
her to be a descendant of Kenneth MacAlpine, one of 
the elder dynasts of the Scotic line of Ireland, and 
that she was indeed Irish enough to have a palace 
in that green island of her forefathers, among a people 
always disposed to be as loving and as loyal as the 


The Queen herself had earlier discussed the possi- 
bility of having a house in Ireland, but the matter had 
always been shelved, generally on the score of expense, 
and Peel had impressed upon her that a house there 
would turn her into an Irish landlord, and she would 
in justice have either to exact rents or evict. He did 
not add that the difficulty or ease of that matter would 
somewhat depend upon whether she was a good land- 
lord or a bad one, and that Royal good example in that 
way might do much for the reformation of both Irish 
landlords and Irish people. 

In 1853, the Queen and Prince repeated their visit 
to Ireland, and again in 1861, when they were received 
with the same loyalty and goodwill as by the Scotch 
or any other inhabitants of their dominions. 




UNDER the fatherly guidance of Melbourne the 
Queen's relations with her Ministers had been cordial 
and untroubled, but with the advent into her life of 
Prince Albert a new influence was introduced, and 
there arose the bitter feeling on the Royal side con- 
cerning the Minister for Foreign Affairs Lord 
Palmerston, who had in 1840 married Melbourne's 
sister, the widowed Lady Cowley. 

In a way Palmerston was both a great reformer and 
a great Imperialist, and these two qualities governed 
his foreign policy. His reforming zeal extended to 
all countries; his Imperialism was restricted to his 
own, his eyes being ever upon Europe to guard against 
any encroachment upon British rights or British 
prestige. He was also a man of bold methods, one 
who never willingly let a quarrel get beyond his grip, 
or waited for an enemy to threaten him. Thus he 
kept England at peace. 

While in power and until 1852, when Pam was dis- 
missed by Victoria, moved to extremity by her fear 
and hatred the only two men in Europe who 



really counted were Nicholas of Russia and Lord 
Palmerston. For awhile after 1852 Nicholas was the 
only one and we had the Crimean War. 

The Prince was a very different person from the 
Minister. He was intellectual, a student of books 
rather than of men, his foreign interest absorbed in 
the conglomeration of German States, his outlook 
restricted from many causes, temperament, youth, 
inexperience, and his bad genius, Baron Stockmar. 

All through the two books inspired and revised 
by the Queen, Stockmar is mentioned with a fulsome- 
ness of praise which by its very irrationality provokes 
question. He was an honest, thoughtful, learned, 
dilettante politician. He loved the Prince deeply, 
and never ceased trying to build up his character. 
Like the old-fashioned monthly nurse, he was always 
endeavouring to mould his brain by pressure here and 
massage there. And the Prince's lack of humour 
made him not only take all Stockmar's admonitions 
and praises quite seriously, but raised him in his 
own estimation above the heads of other men for 
Albert was a doctrinaire rather than a live politician 
and these two got into the habit of thinking that 
philosophic conclusions were the only correct con- 
clusions, and when they would not work on current 
events, it was put down to the inferiority of those 
other men who had to do the labour. In fact, 
Stockmar set up with the Prince a small mutual 
admiration society, which pronounced itself superior 
jto the House of Lords and all the politicians in 
the Commons. 

M 2 


Thus from the outset it was impossible for the 
Prince either to like, understand, or even try to 
understand, Lord Palmerston, for the statesman hid 
determination under a jest, implacability under wit, 
and force under a gay manner. " Palmerston is 
sweet as honey. There is a storm brewing in the 
Cabinet," said the Prussian Ambassador one day. 
The Prince was horrified at the statesman's speeches, 
he could not imagine how laughter could be associated 
with dignified politics, and he was scandalised at his 
bold ways. 

So it was foreordained that the Minister and the 
Prince should fall foul of each other, and also that 
the Queen should uphold all her husband's decisions 
with her written name, her sympathy and the won- 
derful strength of her emotions. 

Palmerston on his part had always played the 
courtier to his Queen, though with a touch of irony when 
discussing serious matters, and he looked upon it as 
a comedy of State to which he conformed for the 
sake of convenience, laughing in his sleeve each time 
that he asked her approval of a despatch, feeling that 
she would not dare to refuse it. 

As well as the royal leaning towards Germany, there 
were friendly complications with France and with 
Leopold of Belgium. Thus in considering foreign 
affairs our Royal pair could never avoid also consider- 
ing whether an action would hurt Louis Philippe, 
Leopold, the King of Prussia, the King of Saxony, 
the Duke of Coburg-Saxe-Gotha, and a fair number 
of other Saxes. It was quite natural that the two 


young people should be loyal friends rather than 
astute statesmen; that they should rage when some 
cousin felt himself aggrieved by one of their own 
servants, that they should be credulous when amity 
was offered them, and be ready to swear eternal friend- 
ship to the monarch next door. But when they were at 
the most beautiful age of life their quick-brained and 
hard-headed Minister was nearing sixty, he had 
studied Europe for several decades, he knew its inside 
workings better than he knew England, and he had 
learnt how to manage it. 

At that time what is called the English Constitution 
was in a far advanced stage of change. William IV. 
was the last King who arbitrarily dismissed his 
Ministers. The mental incapacity which marked the 
later part of the reign of George III., the laziness 
of George IV., and the erratic actions of William 
IV., had all combined to shift decisive power from 
the Throne and place it in the hands of the Govern- 
ment. Palmerston and his predecessors had quietly 
ruled foreign affairs wjth the help of the Cabinet. 
And now came two young creatures, barely grown 
up, declaring that the old order must return, that they 
must decide all that England did, that not a letter 
despatch is the right word should be sent abroad 
before they had seen it, and either approved or 
altered it. As Palmerston once pointed out, twenty- 
seven thousand despatches went out from his office 
each year. To which Albert blandly retorted that 
those despatches had also to pass before the Prime 
Minister and the Queen. It meant that five hundred 


letters were sent abroad each week; these had to be 
considered, thought out and written in the Foreign 
Office; sent to Windsor, Osborne or Balmoral for 
Royal scrutiny, then returned endorsed or altered, 
some to be again returned to the Queen and sent back 
once more; a very unnecessary proceeding for the 
majority of these documents, and one which must have 
made the work almost impossible. That was, however, 
but the lightest of the troubles. A worse one was that 
for years Pam had been practically sole dictator in 
the Foreign Office, and now the young rulers de- 
manded that he should on all occasions bend his will 
to theirs and follow their policy, which was often 
monarchical and Tory, while he was a member of a 
Liberal Cabinet. The Prince had a slow and ultra- 
cautious mind, which would let an opportunity slip 
while considering possibilities, whereas Palmerston 
knew what to dp at once. So when a quick decision 
was needed Pam often made it without waiting for 

As a young man Pam had been so handsome that 
his college friends dubbed him Cupid, and he always 
was a dandy, being vain enough, it was said, to rouge 
when he was old, though this scarcely fits in with the 
fact that when out of office and in the country he 
would spend two or three hours in the early morning 
rowing on the Thames, having first had a long swim 
in its waters. He was also very keen on horses, and 
considered the Derby as a sacred institution, and that 
it was an unwritten law that Parliament should rise 
on Derby Day. He always rode to Epsom, and it was 


not until the last year of his life that he had to drive. 
Watching that last race, and seeing Gladiateur going 
ahead, he whispered to a friend : 

"If the foreigner wins I shall not live through the 

The foreigner did win, and in a few months Cupid 
was no more. 

His social manners were as charming as were those 
of his wife, who was the best hostess in London, as 
well as one of the most beautiful women, and she 
knew exactly how to support Pam through any 
difficulty, her parties being famous for the way in 
which inimical people would through her sweetness 
and kindness become reconciled. 

For some years not only Palmerston, but the Queen 
and Prince, were so engrossed in French affairs that 
they must have a place here, and really they offered 
a pretty little comedy, one which turned, however, to 
tragedy for the French King. 

Louis Philippe, the July King, the King of the 
Barricades, the Citizen King, the "Pecksniff of 
France" (as Mr. Broadley aptly names him), in fact, 
the man of many undesired titles and of definite 
ambitions, felt it a very important matter that his 
neighbour, the young Queen of Spain, should marry 
someone who would strengthen his power, say the 
Due d'Aumale, his fourth son. On the other hand, 
the Queen of England felt a distinct interest in the 
Spanish Queen's marriage, and the question was 
whether France and England should agree or 


Spain's nominal ruler was Isabella, who had been 
born in 1830. The actual ruler up to 1840 was her 
mother, Christina, who had no talent for governing, 
and who occupied herself in bringing up a large family 
of illegitimate children. By the time 'she married 
their father, Munoz, and gave him the title of Duke 
of Rianzares, her quiver was full with eight. It was 
Christina who gravely declared, when she was forced 
to resign her responsibilities as Regent, that she had 
done as much as she could to be the mother of the 

Before she was banished in 1840, like a far-seeing 
mother, if not like a good woman, she had been 
making a nest warm, for which she had stripped the 
Royal Palaces of their most valuable furniture. The 
Crown jewels had disappeared, some having been 
carried away in twelve bottles labelled Old Madeira, 
and others having been tied in sheets and packed up 
as parcels. The gold and silver lace had been taken 
off all the Court liveries and melted down, while 
carpets and things that could not well be taken away 
had been sold. 

The chief possessions Christina had left her little 
Queen-daughter, to judge by those mentioned in 
the report of the commission of inquiry which duly 
followed, were "eleven chemises of very ordinary 
linen " and six pairs of darned cotton stockings which 
hurt her legs, for Isabella suffered from eczema. 
The Queen had not a single pamre; in all her Royal 
residences she could count but three silver inkstands, 
and with the exception of a few forks and spoons, 


not only all the silver, but all the plate had disap- 
peared, so that the Queen had to be served on 
varnished tin. 

Isabella was not what in England would be 
described as a " nice child," for at that age she knew 
more of primitive human life than many respectable 
old women, and one of her Court ladies said : 

" There is not perhaps a child in Spain more inclined 
to lying and dissimulation." 

However, this infant was declared of age and 
became Queen in her own right at thirteen, and long 
before that people were discussing her future husband. 
Louis Philippe gazed longingly beyond the Pyrenees, 
and sounded far and deep for indications of the possi- 
bility of marrying his son, the Due d'Aumale, to 
the Queen of Spain. However, no one approved of 
it, absolutely no one but himself and his family, and 
he was so far convinced of this that though the plan 
was not dropped until six months later, he assured 
Queen Victoria in September, 1843, tnat he would 
not dream of marrying one of his sons to Isabella. 
He added, though, that it would please him to see 
another son of his, the Due de Montpensier, betrothed 
to the Infanta. 

While the King of France had had his finger on 
the pulse of Europe in regard to settling the Spanish 
Queen in safe domestic bonds, Queen Christina is 
credited with hoping that her daughter would marry 
a Coburg. Various members of that family were sug- 
gested, Prince Ernest, Albert's brother, was the first, 
and when he married someone else, Prince Leopold, 


cousin to our Saxe-Coburg and youngest brother to 
the King of Portugal, was considered the most 
eligible. Thus while Louis Philippe was dreaming of 
a crown for Aumale, Prince Albert was having his 
cousin on a visit to Windsor, and discussing his future 
castle in Spain. So it was honestly rumoured and 
believed in Paris that " the most illustrious personage 
in the British Isles" was personally very anxious to 
promote this Coburg marriage, with the result that the 
Tuileries Was in a flutter of anger, which was not 
rendered less when Leopold of Belgium, on being 
applied to, sided with his blood-relations against his 

It is curious in studying the ways of Royalty to see 
that crowned heads have their little methods of 
administering to each other a snub or a social 
insult which cannot be resented. Thus the then three 
great Powers, Russia, Prussia, and Austria, did not 
for years recognise the Queen of Spain; they looked 
over her head, trying to believe she was not there. 
Louis Philippe, too, and after him his successor, knew 
that they were not thought respectable enough to be 
admitted to full European society. 

For this reason the Citizen King was ever casting 
about to secure allies, thinking that the best way to do 
this was to marry his children judiciously, and if the 
big people would not have him, surely it was better 
to seek the friendship of the small ones than of none. 
So his daughter Louise married Leopold of Belgium, 
his daughter Clementine married Prince Augustus of 
Saxe-Coburg, his son Nemours married Princess 


Victoria of Saxe-Coburg, and de Joinville married 
Francesca, sister of the Queen of Portugal. But he 
hungered for the support of a great Power, such as 
England, a friendship which would be powerful 
enough to put stability into a throne which had never 
ceased trembling since he had occupied it. To obtain 
his desire he induced his daughter Louise of Belgium 
to urge Queen Victoria to make the advance, and 
though it took time, at last the aloofness of England 
gave way, and the two princes, Aumale and 
Joinville, were invited on a visit to the Queen in 
August, 1843. 

Once having moved, the natural impetuosity of our 
Victoria carried her away, and she and her husband 
decided that there was nothing so satisfactory as a 
talk, it was better than fifty letters; and that they 
would run over to France and quietly discuss the 
relative merits of a Coburg and a French bridegroom. 
But it was only to be a kind of unpremeditated friendly 
visit, a nice little holiday with no idea of State about 
it. As Gilbert A 5 Beckett wrote at the time : 

" Prince Albert is a famous prince, 

Of honour and renown, 
The worthy husband eke is he 

Of one who wears a crown. 
Prince Albert's spouse said to her dear, 

' Though wedded we have been 
Three years and something more, yet we 

No holiday have seen." 

The Queen wished for no fuss over this visit, but 
she discussed it with Peel, who had to report the matter 
to the Cabinet, and she put a hypothetical case to 


the Duke of Wellington. The latter said that she could 
not possibly go out of England without appointing 
a Regent, foF precedent was too sacred to be ignored; 
so she turned to the Law Lords, who reported that 
there was no law upon the subject, and that she was 
free to do as she wished. Melbourne, to whom she 
confided her plans, gave her fatherly advice, fearing 
what her impulsiveness might do. 

" Do not let them make any treaty or agreement 
there; it can be done elsewhere just -as well. . . . 
Lord Melbourne cannot refrain from earnestly recom- 
mending Your Majesty to take care about landing and 
embarking, and not do it in dangerous places and 
awkward coasts." His was the one personal touch; 
he best knew how easily the Queen might be influenced 
by a subtle and crafty mind, and also he felt for her 
an almost paternal love, which would guard her in 
the smallest as well as the greatest way. So with no 
more preliminaries, at the beginning of September, 
1843, tne Royal yacht Victoria and Albert, with the 
Queen and Prince, Lord Aberdeen acting as chaperon, 
slipped quietly down the Thames and round Kent to 
Treport, leaving the Duke of Wellington staring 
after them with annoyance and incredulity, saying : 

" I did not believe in her going until two days before 
she went. Peel persisted afterwards that he had told 
me of it; but I know I never heard it, and it was not 
a thing to have escaped me if I had." 

Louis Philippe was not quite sure of it either until 
shortly before the visit was paid. However, he had 
time to make domestic arrangements, one of which, 


the papers announced, was to secure a large quantity 
of what was believed in France to be the favourite 
food of the English people cheese and beer ! 

Peel wrote to Aberdeen : " I see that for the 
purpose of doing honour to his Royal visitors and their 
companions, he Louis Philippe sent a very large 
order to England for cheese and bottled beer. I hope 
you will have had calm weather that you may enjoy all 
these delicacies." 

But the general report did not arise from this letter 
which, Sir Sidney Lee says, was a jest as it was not 
published until long afterwards ; it was itself the effect 
of the announcements made in the papers, being 
naturally a tit-bit for the comic journals, broadsheets, 
and cartoonists. Gilbert A'Beckett in the Comic 
Album declared that Louis Philippe, putting fifty francs 
into the hands of a servant : 

" Orders him instantly to look about 
For lots of English cheese and stout. 
'Tis done, the Monarch of the French 
Anxious Victoria's thirst to quench 
On coming from the briny water, 
Has laid in stores of bottled porter. 
Also her hunger to appease, 
A massive hill of Cheshire cheese." 

The cartoon accompanying this represented an enor- 
mous cheese upon the shore, flanked by black bottles, 
before which the Queen gaily dances with her host, 
while Prince Albert, looking very uncertain upon his 
feet, and with his arm round the waist of one of the 
Princesses, is expressing his satisfaction in telling 


Another cartoon shows the Royal party seated round 
a table-cloth on the grass. Louis Philippe sits oppo- 
site Queen Victoria, a vulgar, dumpy little figure, 
while Prince Albert, having been very sick on the 
voyage, is in the distance leaning against a tree, his 
hat on the ground before him. Servants are running 
to and fro with bottles of stout and plates of bread 
and cheese. This is an example of the coarse and 
vulgar in caricature, there being at that day nothing 
between such and drawings in which the spirit of carica- 
ture was shown in the subject and words only, not in 
the drawing. An example of the latter was a repre- 
sentation, in perfect likeness, of these five people round 
a table, upon which the only food was stout and bread 
and cheese. In this Albert says, with a pleasant smile 
to the French Queen : " Lettere me perswader Your 
Majesty to do as we Englishmans do, drink out of de 
Pewtare." To which Amelie responds languishingly : 
" Ah, Monsieur Albert, you do always persuader me to 
every ting." Victoria meanwhile is holding the handle 
of a pewter-pot, and of her Louis Philippe asks : 
" Does Your Majesty prefer porter to vin ordinairet" 
drawing the reply : " Oh, porter by all means ! Your 
health, Phil ! " 

Louis Philippe was as careful of the method of the 
Queen's landing as even Lord Melbourne could have 
wished, and she came ashore with as much ease, though 
scarcely in the same way, as H. B. in an amusing 
cartoon foreshadowed. He pictured the French King 
standing at the edge of a wide stream, watching a 
plump duck, with the face of Queen Victoria, followed 


by a drake and other ducks, with the physiognomies of 
Prince Albert and her Ladies, all paddling towards 
him. On the other shore stand the cock (the Duke 
of Wellington) and the old hen (Sir Robert Peel) 
eagerly surveying the scene. 

A' Beckett gives us his own account of the meeting; 
an account supported by several contemporary carica- 
tures. Says A' Beckett : 

"Victoria touches foreign ground, 
Saluting all the circle round, 
The King, delighted by her charms, 
Raises her in his royal arms, 
And kisses her on both her cheeks, 
As if she had been his guest for weeks. 
Prince Albert with a languid air, 
And suffering from the mal de mer, 
With hat and face extremely white 
Commences doing the polite." 

That Louis kissed Her Majesty with great cordiality 
was a fact that gave joyful opportunity to the carica- 
turists, while the more sober-minded were inclined to 
echo the words put in the mouth of Lord Aberdeen : 

" Hold hard there, that's not English manners ! " 
Lord Adolphus Fitzclarence, the Captain of the 
Victoria and Albert, is shown valiantly drawing his 
sword, while all but one sailor look aghast. 

As a matter of fact, the Royal party was taken 
from the yacht to the shore in the French King's 
barge, and was given a magnificent reception at the 
Chateau d'Eu. Five days were passed there in fetes 
champetres, in concerts, and in dramatic performances, 
and our Royal lady was introduced to that novel 
carriage, the char-a-banc. 


The Queen obeyed her beloved Melbourne in so far 
as no papers were signed, though she talked over with 
her host the matrimonial prospects of the little Spanish 
Queen, and gave a verbal promise that Leopold of 
,Coburg should be withdrawn as a candidate for 
Isabella if Louis Philippe would not allow Montpensier 
to marry the Infanta until her sister was not only 
married but had issue. Aberdeen and Guizot also 
discussed the same subject, the former being far too 
yielding, and, according to a letter written by Albert 
to his brother, promising so much to Guizot that the 
French Minister was more or less justified in his 
further scheming. Lord Aberdeen was the adviser 
whom Victoria and Albert loved, because he agreed 
with their short-sighted plans, and so flattered them; 
yet his action at "the unfortunate meeting at Eu" 
brought about the storm which later agitated the two 
countries, and set Europe laughing with relief. 

The life ,at the Chateau d'Eu was well calculated 
to attract Queen Victoria, for it was natural, gay, and 
troubled with very little ceremonial; yet though we 
are always told that she enjoyed natural, unaffected 
family life, there was probably no one in the chateau 
who could dispense with ceremony with more diffi- 
culty, as the following incident shows : 

Louise of Belgium had told her mother that Queen 
Victoria always drank a glass of iced water at ten 
o'clock, so at that precise hour an attendant brought 
a carafe and two glasses on a tray, and offered them 
to the Royal visitor, who promptly refused the drink, 
so the tray was put on the table. Queen Amelie 


whispered to her son, Joinville, and he, pouring 
some water into a glass, offered it to Her Majesty, 
upon which she took the glass and drank the water. 
One morning two young Princes, the Comte de Paris 
and another, climbed a peach-tree, and offered the 
fruit to the Queen. She took it pleasantly from them, 
but there was something about her manner which made 
the lad turn to Lady Cowley, saying, " I fear that 
your Queen finds us a little too rough." 

Prince Albert was evidently at this time the subject 
of some suspicion as to the attentions he showed to 
fair ladies, for over and over again he is pilloried in 
a too tender attitude towards one who is not the 
Queen. Victoria protested so much as to his devotion 
to herself that the temptation is to think that there was 
some truth in these innuendoes. Thus H. H. gave 
to the public a crowded picture of the great picnic in 
the Forest of Eu, showing Louis Philippe sitting on 
the grass, with his back to a tree, toasting Queen 
Victoria, who is on his right, Queen Amelie being on 
his left, and a large company gathered about. Beyond 
the trunk of the tree, gazing furtively round to see if 
his young wife is looking, is Prince Albert, with his 
arm round a girl's waist. Louis Philippe jovially 
pledges Victoria in the words : "May this be the worst 
day of our lives ! " To which she, her wistful eyes 
upon her errant husband, replies : " With all my 
heart, Phil." 

Another drawing of the sort by another artist de- 
picted the soldiers drawn up in line, the French King 
proudly marching away with Victoria, who, looking 



back, cries with agitation : " Good gracious ! if Albert 
is not stopping to talk with that military-looking 
female ! " Albert himself is chucking under the chin 
a vivandiere, who offers him a glass of milk, and 
saying : "I wish such a pretty cantiniere vas in my 
regiment !" which draws the remark from a French- 
man looking on : " His Royal Highness seems quite 
smitten ! " 

Another cartoon on the same subject, but much 
coarser in type, makes an immense soldier tap the 
Prince warningly on the shoulder as he admires in 
languishing fashion a camp girl. 

The people of France, being suspicious and jealous, 
were not quite so pleased as was their Sovereign with 
the English visit. They asked that question which has 
been the subject of fun through the ages : "If she is 
so gracious, what does she want?" One report ran 
that she was determined to make Louis sign a treaty 
of commerce, binding the nation to buy English cotton 
thread and British iron ; and a cartoon from a French 
point of view showed Victoria mesmerising the King 
in the presence of Prince Albert and Aberdeen 
Guizot in alarm shaking his master's shoulder to arouse 
him in order that he may sign the commercial treaty 
which lies on the table, having been carried over by 
Victoria in the lining of her parasol. 

After five days came the inevitable farewell, "and 
the Queen's spirits fell when it was over," as Sir 
Sidney Lee reports. Punch tells us that on taking 
leave of her Royal host Her Majesty looked for the 
first time rather sad, and then, fearing to cast gloom 


on others, added : " Je vais m'eclaircir " (I am going 
to brigh ten = Brighton). 

Another picture shows her marching down to the 
boat on the shore, Prince Albert following, meekly 
laden with chocolate and presents for the children, 
while Louis Philippe stands on the stage above, his 
face hidden in his handkerchief : 

" He would not embitter one moment her stay, 
Nor send her when going, in sadness away ; 
He hears the guns sounding, he sees her depart, 
And can't repress longer the grief of his heart." 

Prince Albert's supposed letter of thanks to his host, 
written in a sort of French verse, might give good 
exercise to young students of that language, for how- 
ever queer the French, the sound of the translation 
will be correct : 

"L'ancre est pese, la vapeur est en haut; 

L'6corce est sur la criniere, 
Le vent du levain souffle comme il faut, 

Et feuilles la France par derriere. 
Louis Philippe, nos marins sont une planche, 

Et disent que vous tes un atout, 
Us souhaitent avant que nous croissons la Manche 

De dire un bon par a vous, 
Nous aliens prendre le gage du Pere Mathieu, 

Les casseurs sont a tte; adieu Louis, adieu ! " 1 

The Queen left Eu with a feeling of real affection 
in her heart for her very attentive host, and Louis 
Philippe was more than pleased with the visit, for it 

1 Ecorce = bark (of a tree) ; criniere = mane ; levain = yeast = 
east; une planche = a board; un atout = a trump; un bon par= 
a good by ; le gage du Pere Mathieu = Father Mathew was at 
that time preaching temperance in Hyde Park ; les casseurs sont 
a tete = the breakers are ahead. 

N 2 


was the first time that he had been admitted into the 
pale of the legitimate monarchs, and he hoped for great 
things from that admission. 

From Eu the Queen and her Consort went to 
Brighton, where the Royal children were staying, and 
after a few days there, sailed on to Belgium, entering 
a social atmosphere absolutely the reverse of that they 
had breathed at Eu, for Leopold had not grown more 
generous with age, and his people were too phlegmatic 
to rejoice with anything but caution at the visit of the 
Queen of England. Leopold's home was noted for 
its gloom, the King being egotistical and too much 
troubled about small things ever to indulge in a laugh, 
while Louise was too devout and too suppressed to be 

Victoria kept her good spirits there, and thought 
the visit a happy one. She and Leopold were a 
curious pair. In their letters they professed the 
deepest devotion to each other, the Queen saying that, 
excepting Albert, she loved Leopold and Louise better 
than anyone in the world (alas ! poor Duchess of 
Kent). Yet there were black spots in their inter- 
course when Victoria-Albert commented upon Leo- 
pold's constant absence from his kingdom and also 
upon other things, the youthful pair considering that 
their position justified the tutoring of a fatherly rela- 
tive; so Leopold was never allowed to forget that he 
was a much more insignificant person than the niece 
he had succoured as a baby. On his part he had no 
relish for his visits to England, Louise, writing on one 
occasion to her brother that one consolation for her 


husband's illness was that la corvee (literally, toil 
demanded by a superior of a peasant) of a journey to 
England would be spared her husband, who liked 
neither Windsor nor the life there. 

For the jovial five days at Eu, Victoria and Albert 
had to pay the price. The great European countries 
were angry, and Nicholas of Russia was particularly 
suspicious, thinking that an Anglo-French alliance 
must mean an Anglo-Russian quarrel. Hoping to 
dissipate this dissatisfaction, the most royal prepara- 
tions were made at Windsor to receive the Grand 
Duke Michael, who visited England in October. 

That visit upset Louis Philippe, who almost shed 
tears also over the projected stay of the Due de 
Bordeaux in London. This Duke was the second 
son of Charles X., and was regarded as Louis's rival, 
being called by his followers Henri V. Prussia 
had defied France and received the young man in all 
friendship, so Louis Philippe's heart trembled lest 
Victoria should do the same thing, and he wrote 
pointing out that if she did receive Bordeaux all the 
good he himself had gained from her visit would be 
annihilated. Victoria-Albert, however, filled with the 
glamour of the new friendship, exclaimed with horror 
at the idea that they could show politeness to one whom 
Louis Philippe feared. So they sent urgent invita- 
tions to the Nemours, pressing them to come to 
Windsor, that their presence might excuse discourtesy 
to the son of a king. 

Thus the young man, while in England, was cut 
by Royalty, though feted by many of the nobles, in 


spite of the fact that all official people were forbidden 
to receive him, and that even his personal friends in 
Scotland and in England were approached by Lord 
Aberdeen, at the Royal command, with the desire that 
they should ignore him. Albert quite plainly showed 
the reason for all this when he wrote : " No good can 
come from the reception (of the Duke by the Queen), 
and the King of the French must prefer its not taking 

While the Queen-Prince were thus humouring Louis 
Philippe, he himself was gleefully rubbing his hands 
and trying in spite of his protestations- to arrange 
the marriage between his son Aumale and Queen 
Isabella, until at last he was convinced of the futility 
of the idea. He had indeed given evidence of his 
easy morality when, during his stay in England, 
he frankly said in conversation that he did not under- 
stand either the necessity of keeping good faith nor 
having merchant-minds like the English, a saying 
which Queen Victoria did not forget later. 

But before then many things happened, and the 
sound of war seemed ever murmuring in the ears of 
both nations, the fact being that Louis and his people 
had different aims. He wanted to ensure to himself 
and his family wealth, position and stability, while 
the French did not care a rap for him. They very 
much preferred to indulge in their emotions, and one 
of the strongest of those emotions was hatred of the 
English, intensified by their suspicions concerning the 
recent Entente Cordiale. The French were, in fact, 
spoiling for war. There was trouble in Morocco 


between the two countries, and in Otaheite, of which 
the French Commander of the Fleet took possession, 
clapping the British Consul into prison. The French 
refused a treaty of commerce, and also refused to 
let British linen and cotton goods enter their country. 
The Prince de Joinville, who had made great friends 
with Lord Adolphus Fitzclarence when at Eu, de- 
liberately cut him dead in the streets of Paris; and 
in May, 1844, published a pamphlet upon the French 
fleet, with such pointed reference to English ships, 
that some people looked upon it as a threat of war. 

Through it all Victoria-Albert stuck to the French 
King, making excuses for de Joinville on the score 
of youth, etc., which drew the not surprising opinion 
from a member of the Austrian Embassy that the 
Queen's friendship for France was a piece of morbid 
sentimentalism. Europe looked on hopefully, believ- 
ing that, after all, the alliance in the West might not 
prove to be dangerous; and the Czar Nicholas deter- 
mined not only to come and see for himself, but to 
obtain some of that English friendship which was 
supposed to be a panacea for international troubles. 
Then he carried out his resolve as secretly and sud- 
denly as he believed that the visit to Eu had been 

Queen Victoria had arranged a pleasant family visit 
from the King and Queen of Saxony, and was horribly 
astonished and flustered by the news that the Russian 
bear was almost at her doors. She had to alter 
arrangements and fetes, try to find a State bedroom 
for the autocrat by putting some of the Saxon suite 


into the attics, and it was necessary for the time to 
let the Saxon King, who arrived in London the 
same day as Nicholas, stand in the background. 

With the Emperor's visit I am not concerned. He 
saw all the people he wanted to see, except John 
Russell and most of the other discarded Liberal 
Ministers ; he went to Ascot and to a number of parties, 
dinners, luncheons and reviews. At a review at 
Windsor he had the opportunity of seeing some of the 
troops reprimanded and dismissed. The Queen dis- 
liked firing when expecting the birth of an infant, 
but the orders to the troops not to fire had been some- 
how mismanaged, and they gave a grand salute on 
her arrival, for which the Duke of Wellington angrily 
sent them off the field. The Emperor also saw how 
few were the troops that could be gathered together 
quickly, and when the Queen apologised for this he 
answered, with courtly kindness : 

" Madame, your troops are exceedingly good, very 
superior to mine, which cannot be compared to them. 
But such as mine are, they are always and in all 
circumstances at the disposition of your Majesty." 

In what a thoroughly grim manner this compliment 
was proved true ten years later, we all know. 

There was one thing which astonished him, auto-, 
crat though he was, and that was the servility shown 
to the Queen, not only by the Household servants, 
but by all who came into contact with her in her 

The Emperor, tall, inclined to be fat, bald, with 
horrible eyes, which might have been good but for 



his habit of so raising the lids as to show white above 
the pupils, yet with a perfect profile, who could only 
talk of politics or military affairs, was not the man 
to prove attractive to women; and yet Court ladies 
clustered round him with admiration and a desire for 
notice which must have wearied the monarch who had 
no respect for their kind. He who had caused Polish 
women to be knouted; who, capturing a convent of 
over fifty nuns, had, because of their religion, given 
them as prisoners to his Cossacks, from whom they 
each received fifty lashes every week, and endured 
such other barbarities that only three survived by 
escaping, what could such a man care about 
women, however much he might pay respect to fine 
feathers ? 

However, he accepted the adulation, and was careful 
before leaving Windsor to bestow a large number of 
presents. Two thousand pounds he thought not too 
much to divide among the servants at the Castle, while 
to the pleased housekeeper of that Royal abode he 
gave a diamond parure worth a thousand pounds. 
The Lords of the Household had the regulation snuff- 
boxes with the Emperor's portrait set in diamonds, the 
equerries and grooms boxes of somewhat less value, 
while rings, watches, and brooches were freely bestowed. 
He touched the hearts of the people by contributing 
500 to the Nelson statue, the same to the Wellington 
statue, and assigned that sum annually to buying a 
cup for Ascot; there were sums for the poor, for the 
German Hospital; and to prove how far his bribing 
capacity would carry him, he actually had the 


effrontery to offer ^500 to the Polish Ball a ball, 
tickets for which were sold at a guinea, got up to 
relieve the thousands of Polish refugees who had 
fled from their country to escape his tyranny. Lord 
Dudley Stuart, who was helping to arrange the ball, 
naturally refused this offer. 

If Russia had felt particularly annoyed at the visit 
of Queen Victoria to Eu, Louis Philippe was in despair 
at the visit of Nicholas to England, for he wanted 
England for his own bosom friend, and no rivals. The 
vexation was not confined to the King, every member 
in the Tuileries felt it; the Queen saying with a 
grimace of disgust to Lady Cowley, our Ambassador's 
wife : " So the autocrat has arrived." 

Again came threats of war between England and 
France over the French occupation of Mogador. 
However, once more matters were smoothed out, and 
Louis came over to England in October, of which 
event Charles Greville grumbled : " These 'Royal 
intimacies strike me as being very unnecessary, and 
calculated to lead sooner or later to inconvenience and 

His Majesty was keenly anxious to get the English 
hallmark of distinction, the Order of the Garter, so 
he came, bringing Montpensier with him, for whose 
marriage to the Infanta he was already scheming. 
Prince Albert met them at the steamer, and drove with 
them to Windsor, placing himself in the carriage by the 
side of the King, and leaving his younger guest to 
sit with his back to the horses, which was popularly 
commented on as not very civil. The Queen made 


amends, however, for on their arrival at the Castle 
she went to the very doorstep to meet her visitors, 
extending her arms in the most cordial way while 
Louis Philippe descended, and then they embraced 
most affectionately, she giving him two kisses on either 
cheek. The usual entertainments took place, the 
English people showing as much cordiality to Louis 
as they did to the Russian Emperor, and everyone, 
high and low, talking a tremendous amount of 

Louis was most gorgeously installed as a member of 
the Order of the Garter under the introduction of 
Prince Albert and the Duke of Cambridge, and he 
earnestly replied in response to the condition : " You 
will enter into no unjust war ? " f< To that I will heartily 
pledge myself ! " A pledge which, as far as England 
was concerned, he meant to keep, though it is quite 
certain that he was making a promise which his sub- 
jects at least were eager to break, for the Paris papers 
were full of abuse of him because of this visit. 

Jasper Judge tells in his Louis Philippe book that 
Victoria, visiting one of the French ships, liked some 
cakes extremely, and a parcel of them were sent to the 
Royal yacht. When the messenger saw a woman on 
the yacht's deck dressed in a " common-looking black 
gown, dark bonnet, and plain red woollen shawl," he 
held out the packet, saying, " Take it, miss ; they are 
cakes for the Queen. Take care of them ! Now 
mind, do not fail to give them her." It was the Queen 
herself, and she laughed heartily over the mistake. 



WITH the downfall of Peel in 1846 the complacent 
Aberdeen gave way to the truculent Palmerston, and 
Guizot, knowing the man, and knowing too that he 
would never endorse his predecessor's vague and 
pleasant promises, began to work with a will. He 
was determined that France should get something out 
of Spain, and that the Coburg Prince should get 
nothing. Into the details of the squabble and the 
intriguing I need not enter. Leopold of Coburg did 
not want to marry the Queen. She was rough, un- 
educated, plain, and troubled with eczema, but he was 
ready to do so if the Powers willed it. The other 
suitors were the girl's own uncle, Count Trapani, 
who, thought to be dangerous, was ruled out, and her 
two cousins, Francisco and Enrique. Francisco seems 
to have been a perfect horror, with a large, white face 
and short, square nose, weakly in health, an imbecile, 
and incapable of being the father of children. Duke 
Ernest of Coburg declares in his Memoirs that the 
man who was forced upon Isabella as a husband was 
no man. " It was everywhere spoken about and jested 


over." This was perhaps the reason why the English 
were so angry over the match, the poor little Queen 
being so obviously sacrificed to French intrigue. She 
would quite pleasantly have taken the younger boy 
Enrique, but in the end was forced to take the youth 
whom she loathed. Her mother, Christina, who had 
unfortunately become far too much of a tool to Louis 
Philippe, was herself filled with disgust at the idea of 
Francisco, and tried to get the healthy, clean young 
Leopold for the girl. But at the silly Eu conference 
iVictoria and Albert had promised to withdraw the 
Coburg youth, and when appealed to they refused to 
break that promise, so French tactics won. On coming 
into power, Palmerston, not having been told of all 
that had passed between Christina and others, wrote 
to Spain that he hoped the Queen would choose be- 
tween her three suitors, Francisco, Enrique and 
Leopold. Then when Guizot wrote to him, he was 
obliged to lose three weeks before he could answer 
the letter, because his Queen, who was at the time 
cruising about the Western coasts, was insistent that 
she should have all despatches sent back and forth 
to her. These two facts gave Guizot his chance. 
Crying that England was cheating, and that Palmer- 
ston refused to answer his letters, he said that he and 
his master were relieved from all promises, so he 
forced Christina to force the deadly Francisco upon 
Isabella under threat of a single life for years to come. 
At the same time he demanded the hand of the Infanta 
for the Duke de Montpensier, and all the indecisions, 
the pourparleyings, and intriguings were over. In- 


stead of the Montpensier marriage being deferred until 
the Queen of Spain had children it took place directly 
after that of the Queen, and then the arch-plotter 
Guizot and the half-fearing, half-delighted Louis 
Philippe, had to face the music. 

It was said that Isabella went to her marriage looking 
white and sad, while her duped and duping mother 
"was radiant with smiles, and looked very handsome ;" 
but Montpensier was the sad partner at his wedding, 
while the Infanta was quite taken with him. The 
Spaniards, however, hated the French, hated the mar- 
riage, and hated the young Prince, who gained nothing 
from his match, for Isabella was not only ready to 
take a favourite, but had one forced upon her by her 
Government, who were determined that Spanish heirs 
should be born to the throne, if only to keep the French 
at arm's length. 

As for Victoria-Albert and Louis Philippe, as a near 
relative rudely said, "a fit of ill-temper had broken 
out amongst the confederates at Eu over the mad mar- 
riage affair." The Queen blamed Louis Philippe, 
Albert blamed Bulwer, the English Ambassador at 
Madrid, and the King of the Belgians laid the whole 
burden on the back of Palmerston. Guizot took the 
virtuous attitude. "Of what do you complain?" he 
said to Lord Normanby in Paris, " I told you that the 
two marriages should not take place at the same time, 
I told you the truth, for that of the Queen was 
solemnised an hour before the other." Even the French 
papers derided his words as a pasquinade which was a 
disgrace to the man who uttered it. 


The three great Powers watched with delight this 
rupture between England and France, and in England 
feeling ran riot to such an extent that many would have 
liked war, though the Duke of Wellington summed up 
"the pother about Spain" as "all d d stuff." 

Victoria was furiously angry, considering that 
her dear friend had not only been guilty of a low, 
dishonest political intrigue, but had forfeited his 
word of honour to her personally, while pretending 
the most sincere friendship. She refused to allow the 
picture of himself, which he had sent her, to be hung, 
and it was reported that she ordered all her portraits 
and busts of him to be put in the lumber attics. The 
matter was aggravated by the fact that Louis Philippe 
was afraid to write to her; his wife made the com- 
munication for him, doing it with a wonderful naivete, 
talking of her eagerness to impart the news of the en- 
gagement, and how they were overwhelmed with joy, 
as the happiness of their dear son would be assured by 
it, and because another daughter would be added to 
the family, for whom she begged Her Majesty's 

The Queen answered coldly, with a reminder of what 
had been said at Eu, of the zeal with which she and 
Prince Albert had worked to maintain the Entente 
Cordiale, and of the way in which they had refused to 
help one of their own family to marry the Spanish 

Though there was much correspondence on this 
matter Louis Philippe never wrote to Victoria, trying 
to maintain the attitude of being unjustly dealt with. 


" I am induced to think that the good little Queen was 
as sorry to write the letter (one to Louise of Belgium 
on the subject) as I was to read it. But now she sees 
things only through the spectacles of Lord Palmerston, 
and these distort the truth too often," he wrote. In 
another letter he accused her of being resentful. So 
though Victoria kept her dignity and resented bitterly 
the idea that she had shown resentment, it was really 
a pretty little quarrel, and one which was cheered on 
by the French and English people. The former made 
Coburg their gibe, and from one end to the other of 
France "the marrying family" was again the subject 
of talk, article and song. It was said that Ferdinand 
of Portugal had, despite the internal wars and national 
shortage of food, sent large sums of money to the King 
of the Belgians to invest for him. The whole array of 
Coburgs sprinkled about Europe was brought up for 
public inspection, and Prince Albert who, like his 
uncle Leopold, felt anger when subjected to 
cartoon or criticism, suffered constant pricks to 
his pride. 

The English retaliated with all vigour, and Punch, 
as chief spokesman, delightedly represented the 
French King as the central figure in its clever cartoons. 
He appeared in the jester's pages as Fagin, teaching 
his boys how to steal the coronetted handkerchief out 
of his pocket; as royally presenting Victoria and the 
King of Prussia with half an oyster shell, he having 
swallowed the oyster ; as defeating Leopold of Coburg 
in a tournament, singing, after disposing of Prince 
Trapani : 


" ' Ha, ha ! I guess that's one the less ! Now, Sir Coburg, for 

you! ' 
And he tipped his lance with gold, for well his foe's weak 

point he knew; 

A rush, a thrust a cloud of dust and when it left the air* 
There lay the Coburg, dead to ' time,' and much the worse 

for wear." 

Then we have him as a matador, the Entente 
Cordiale wrapped round his arm, smilingly advancing 
to stab the (John) Bull. In another picture he stands 
smug and smiling with cannon balls beneath his feet 
and pictures of tragedies in Spain, Tangiers, Algiers, 
Ferrara and Italy round him. For this woodcut 
Punch was banished from France. Then are shown 
the Emperors of Russia and Austria, and the King of 
Prussia, " dancing the last cracovienne " upon the 
Treaty of Vienna, and finally Louis Philippe tripped 
up and sitting down "hard and sudden," while the 
three monarchs look on. But the bitterest of all was 
one showing him as Fagin manacled in prison: "A 
proud man without honour, a rich man without friends." 

Louis evidently had meant it when he said that he 
could not see what good faith had to do with politics, 
and had not anticipated any real trouble with England. 
He became more and more disturbed at his want of 
success with Victoria, and by the end of the year the 
papers declared that he was obsessed by the idea.. 
He rose in the morning determined to regain the 
English alliance ; he passed the hours calculating how 
best to piece together the broken friendship; he 
foamed at the rancour of Palmerston, and wept over 
the unkindness of Victoria; he summoned his Minis- 


ters, he consulted and wheedled the English Ambas- 
sador, and, it was declared, that as a last resource he 
fee'd Brougham to champion him. Then, being piqued 
at the utter futility of it all, he would turn cold to 
England. Not being able to win he must hate, 
not being able to cajole he must calumniate. And 
so he ended his day by swearing lustily at John 

The Spanish business might have been of inter- 
national importance had Europe been in a healthier 
condition ; as it was, it was almost a personal matter. 
Victoria and Albert had tried to guide foreign politics 
and had failed, because they and their Minister were 
too pleasant and yielding. Had it not been for their 
promises, Isabella might have had a decent life with 
some other bridegroom, as it was, she was miser- 
able for years, though she became the mother of six 
children, who for purposes of State it was deemed 
advisable to regard as Francisco's. 

While Louis Philippe was seeking to renew the 
friendship with Victoria, the French were amusing 
themselves with stories of Palmerston, and English 
people learned from one of their papers that Lord 
Palmerston had called a meeting of Whigs and 
Tories at the " Crown and Anchor " (presumably in 
London) to explain to them what he had done and 
what he meant to do with regard to the Spanish 
marriages, and to utter a maudlin tirade on the love 
he felt for the power and glory of his native land. 
Another French paper said he had sent invitations to 
several members of the Parisian Jockey Club to 


attend a fox-hunt that he proposed to give in 
Piccadilly ! 

Victoria wanted to blame Palmerston for what had 
happened, but could not, as she agreed with the result 
of his policy; though later she and Albert did not 
scruple to declare that the whole trouble was caused 
by him. So does prejudice colour our reason! 

The Queen had accepted her new Government with 
fear, for her love for Whiggism had gone like smoke. 
She thought Lord John was weak, and Punch's well- 
known cartoon of Russell as a very little man dressed 
in Peel's clothes, drawing the remark from his 
Sovereign of " Well ! it is not the best fit in the world, 
but we'll see how he goes on ! " thoroughly described 
the situation. She said of her new statesmen the day 
after the Cabinet was fixed : " There is much less re- 
spect and much less high and pure feeling," adding, 
however, that she and Albert "had contrived to get 
a very respectable Court," alluding to those officials 
who had to be changed with the Government. All 
her fear of Palmerston returned, and she wanted to 
give him the Colonial Office. She was so credulous 
even then just two months before the Spanish 
marriages concerning French tactics, that she de- 
manded that Palmerston should do nothing to dis- 
turb the friendly relations between herself and Louis 
Philippe, and demanded also that he should under- 
stand that the Foreign Office was a department of the 
Government, the affairs of which were to be considered 
in common and not to be decided by him. Sir Sidney 
Lee says of the struggle, in his " Life of Queen 

O 2 


Victoria " : " The Constitution did not provide for 
the regular control by the monarch of the minister's 
work in that or any other department of the State. 
The minister had it in his power to work quite in- 
dependently of the Crown, and it practically lay with 
him to admit or reject a claim on the Crown's part to 
suggest even points of procedure, still more points of 
policy. For the Crown to challenge the fact in deal- 
ing with a strong-willed and popular minister was to 
invite, as the Queen and Prince were to find, a torment- 
ing sense of impotence." 

Lord John himself was in doubt about his stand- 
ing with the Queen, and he dreaded the friction which 
he knew would be coming, and of which he, as go- 
between, would have to bear the brunt. Then both 
he and Lord Palmerston regarded not only Prince 
Albert, but King Leopold and Baron Stockmar, with 
suspicion. Here were three people brought up with 
foreign ideas all claiming to understand English 
foreign policy better than any Englishman in 
England, all waiting to guard French and German 
interests, their eyes so filled with those countries 
that they sometimes forgot Britain altogether, and 
Stockmar definitely claiming to the Queen to 
have an expert knowledge of the English Con- 

Victoria-Albert applauded all he said on this point, 
and they and Stockmar together spent six years try- 
ing to break Palmerston to their will, demanding the 
obedience of a schoolboy from him, and hoping to 
reduce him to the position of a secretary carrying out 


their ideas. The more Palmerston did what he con- 
sidered his duty to his country rather than to in- 
dividuals, the harder grew the Prince, who was always 
perfectly certain that he was right and the experi- 
enced practical worker was wrong. There was no 
way out of it excepting war to the end, and war to the 
end it was. 

Russell was very short and slight, and when he 
first contested Devonshire it is said that the electors 
were disappointed at his size, but felt satisfied when 
it was explained to them that he had once been larger, 
but was worn down by the anxieties and struggles 
of the Reform Bill. He was versatile, having written 
dramas, history, biography, and a novel; as Sydney 
Smith said of him, he was "ready to undertake any- 
thing and everything to build St. Paul's cut for the 
stone or command the Channel Fleet." He was " the 
most cheery little man that ever was," "earnest about 
trifles, with natural kindliness concealed under serious 
aims"; " free from any spirit of jobbing or favouritism 
in making appointments, honourably and wisely dis- 
posed"; while Disraeli said of him that he was 
" quick in reply, fertile in resource, takes large views, 
and frequently compensates for a dry and hesitating 
manner by the expression of those noble truths that 
flash across the fancy and rise spontaneously to the 
lip of men of poetic temperament when addressing 
popular assemblies." At the same time he had not 
the tenacity of purpose which had animated Peel, nor 
the quick decision which made Palmerston a success- 
ful Foreign Minister " Lord Meddle and Lord 


Muddle " was a title his opponents liked to use about 

So with Lord Stanley as Opposition Leader in the 
Lords, and Disraeli as Opposition Leader in the 
'Commons, John Russell took up his work, and made 
so good an impression on the Queen that in 1847 sne 
gave him Pembroke Lodge in Richmond Park, which 
Lord John took gratefully, as he had only a house in 
Chesham Place. 

Concerning their supervision of despatches, Vic- 
toria-Albert contended that they were held responsible 
for everything that was written to foreign Powers, and 
therefore should have the decision as to what was said. 
This was nonsense, as all Europe knew just how the 
English Constitution allocated the power. Yet as 
soon as the other rulers realised that the Queen wished 
to grasp full power, they instantly tried to make 
capital out of it by applying to her personally by 
letter, and by showing animus against her Minister. 
When Palmerston thought the occasion warranted it 
he evaded the Royal commands by sending drafts to 
the Queen at the same time, or even after, the despatch 
itself had gone. Sometimes he forgot to send the 
draft at all, and when the Prince altered his letter 
too drastically he on more than one occasion re- 
inserted the deleted paragraph. He knew that he was 
dealing only nominally with the Queen, in reality with 
the Prince, and still more with Baron Stockmar, whose 
advice in big matters was always solicited. Diogenes 
hit off the situation when it published a picture of 
Pam standing in Downing Street watching the shadow 



of Albert thrown upon the blind, and saying : " There 
he is again ! I'll not enter if his influence is to nega- 
tive mine." 

A further point of difference lay in the Prince's 
adhesion to Monarchy in any form, autocratic, 
tyrannic, or otherwise, while Pam cared little for 
Monarchy, but much for the peace of Europe and the 
well-being of the people. 

In 1848 Palmerston sent a despatch without show- 
ing it to the Queen to Sir Henry Bulwer at Madrid, 
pointing out that the Queen of Spain, who was in 
great difficulties with her people, would be wise to 
make certain changes in her Government, and 
approach nearer the Constitutional idea. Bulwer, 
who hated the French influence, caught at a method 
of annoying the French Ambassador, and not only 
sent the despatch to the Spanish Foreign Minister, 
but without authority published it in the Opposi- 
tion papers. Whereupon in a rage Isabella gave 
Bulwer forty-eight hours in which to leave Madrid. 
There was a great row, and one comic paper published 
the following letter, which Lord Palmerston, in his 
desire to be Dictator of the World, might be likely 
to send : 


" You will be pleased to read this despatch immediately to 
the Minister of Foreign Affairs. I see that the Queen has been 
in the habit of driving- out in her carriage in the afternoon. This 
I cannot permit. As the Minister of the foreign policy of Great 
Britain I must protest against this undue assumption of power; 
and I beg likewise to add, that I have observed with disgust 



that General Narvaez wears a green coat buttoned up. This 
cannot be permitted I wear black*. By the bye, it rained at 
Madrid, I see, last month. Were you consulted beforehand on 
it as British Ambassador? " 

It took two years to adjust this trouble, and it is 
certain that had Isabella and her Ministers taken 
Palmerston's advice the Queen would not have been 
shown in a cartoon twenty years later walking out of 
Spain, carpet-bag in hand, and a small crown falling 
off her untidy hair. 

In France the King had lost the confidence of his 
subjects; because of his duplicity over the Spanish 
marriages, said Victoria-Albert, though that really was 
but one proof among many of his intriguing character. 
His aristocracy thought themselves too good for him, 
yet they were licentious and corrupt, so much so that 
the Due de Praslin, who most brutally murdered his 
wife, and to escape punishment was allowed to poison 
himself, was popularly regarded as a type of the whole. 
Louis Philippe had to invite as guests a lower stratum 
of society, men who dug him in the ribs and 
tapped him on the head literally, and walked 
about his rooms with their mouths and hands full of 

In February, 1848, these familiarities came to their 
height, when a mob headed by soldiers marched to 
the Tuileries, and to save the King's life, gave him 
the chance of signing his abdication. When this crowd 
faced him and offered the already written deed for 
his signature, it is pleasant to know that though he 
had lost his head, and feebly asked advice of everyone 


round him, Queen Amelie was one of the two people 
present who urged him to be a man, saying, " My dear, 
you must not abdicate, it is better to die a King." She, 
so gentle, so religious, was the only one of the whole 
family with spirit. I must do the King the justice to 
say that his great objection to doing anything decisive 
was that it would mean the shedding of blood. 
Directly after signing he and his Queen left the 
Tuileries on foot, escorted by the National Guard, who 
put them into a carriage to go where they would. 
From a little cottage at Honfleur they escaped by the 
aid of Mr. Featherstonhaugh, the Consul at Havre, just 
an hour before gensd'armes came to arrest them. 
Louis Philippe, his whiskers shaved off, his wig gone, 
a casquette on his head, and wearing immense goggles, 
was Mr. Smith, uncle to the Consul, who remarked 
that, having got him to the shore, " My dear uncle 
talked so loud and so much I had the greatest difficulty 
to make him keep silence." Someone else said that 
the Queen prayed so persistently on the ship that 
Louis told her to keep quiet or she would be found 

On landing at Newhaven Louis Philippe cried 
" Thank God, I am on British ground ! " Possessing 
nothing but the clothes they wore and a little money, 
they waited until they received a letter from Victoria, 
and then went straight through to Claremont, which 
Leopold had lent them. With all his intriguing there 
was not a single castle in Spain which would take the 
exiled King. 

It seems too bad to joke about these fugitives, but 


the national punster made a neat jest on the 

" Poor Louis Philippe from the Tuileries ran 
And tore off his wig like a desperate man ; 
His children came rushing pell-mell into town, 
And found that papa had no hairs to his crown." 

The disguised Due de Nemours arrived on our 
shores with two children, and no one knew where the 
Duchess and the other two were ; Princess Clementine 
came by the same boat, but did not recognise her 
brother. Guizot was so disguised that his " dear friend 
and evil genius," Madame de Lieven, did not know 
him, though he travelled all the way from Amiens with 
her she passing as the wife of an English artist; the 
Montpensiers came, Prince Metternich, the well- 
punished suppressor of free speech and the Press, 
and many others. Guizot, once starred, be-ribboned, 
golden-fleeced, surrounded by princes and ambas- 
sadors, took a house in Pelham Terrace, Brompton, at 
twenty pounds a year. And at this time a man who 
knew little of spontaneous gratitude was in hiding in 
King Street, St. James's, wondering always where his 
next meal would come from, and nursing his often- 
expressed conviction that it was his destiny to rule over 
France. This was Louis Napoleon, who paid a 
hurried visit to the new authorities at Paris, and felt 
flattered by being asked to go away again as his pre- 
sence might lead to more trouble. However, before 
long he went for good, until in his turn he blessed the 
British shores which received him as an exile. 

What was at the beginning of 1848 going on in the 


Western part of Europe may be told in Prince Albert's 
own expressive words in a letter to Stockmar : 
" European war is at our doors, France is ablaze in 
every quarter, Louis Philippe is wandering about in 
disguise, so is the Queen; Nemours and Clementine 
have found their way to Dover ; of Augustus, Victoire, 
Alexander Wurtemburg, and the others, all we know 
is, that the Duchess of Montpensier is at Treport under 
another name, Guizot is a prisoner, the Republic de- 
clared, the army ordered to the frontier, the incorpora- 
tion of Belgium and the Rhenish provinces are pro- 
claimed. Here they refuse to pay the income tax, and 
attack the Ministry. Victoria will be confined in a few 
days ; our poor good grandmamma is taken from this 
world. 1 I am not cast down, still I have need of 
friends and of counsel in these times. Come, as you 
love me^ as you love Victoria, as you love uncle 
Leopold, as you love your German Fatherland." 

But Stockmar was too ill, or thought he was, to 
travel, and with the birth of the Princess Louise, the 
tranquil good sense of Victoria, who was at such times 
both physically and mentally a perfect mother, the 
Prince's troubled mind calmed. 

The tragedy of the nations was far more complete 
than Albert indicated ; Spain and Portugal were full of 
factions and military unrest ; the Italians were ripe for 
revolt, and Palmerston sent Lord Minto to warn the 
Government to save itself by making concessions. The 
Prussian King went into the streets to promise the mob 
anything they wanted, and was chased back into his 
1 The Dowager Duchess of Gotha. 


palace, afterwards flying to Potsdam; the Crown 
Prince was forced to run for his life, the King of 
Austria had to leave his capital; Pope Pius availed 
himself of the hospitality of Sardinia; the Duke and 
Duchess of Coburg sought refuge in England, and last 
and perhaps least, King Leopold was wearily hoping 
to lay down the burden of his ill-fitting crown. He 
was ill, poor man, and weary of things, but like a good, 
dutiful minor King, he came to consult the greater 
monarch, his young niece, and was sent home with sage 
advice and royal injunctions to stick to his task, re- 
turning to his capital "with the greatest sadness im- 
printed on his face." One other King was at peace 
with his country, and that was Ernest of Hanover, who 
declared that at the first sign of rebellion he would 
abdicate. That his subjects did not rebel is a proof 
that in spite of his autocracy they felt safe with him. 

As for England, there were riots everywhere, and 
Fanny Kemble, in her airy style, speaks of London 
thus : 

"We are quite lively now in London, with riots of 
our own a more exciting process than merely reading 
of our neighbour's across the Channel. Last night a 
mob, in its playful progress through this street, broke 
the peaceful windows of this house. There have been 
great meetings in Trafalgar Square these two last 
evenings, in which the people threw stones about and 
made a noise, but that was all they did by all 

One evening a mob, headed by a youth wearing 
epaulettes, marched to Buckingham Palace, breaking 


lamps and shouting " Vive la Republique ! " in a very 
English accent, but as they approached the Queen's 
house the guard turned out, and the very sight of the 
soldiers quelled their noise. When the leader was 
arrested he begged for mercy, and " let the tears doun 
fa' ! " 

The Chartists were in the midst of their agitation, 
and Louis Napoleon was back from his Parisian trip 
in time to act as Special Constable in Trafalgar Square 
on the loth of April, when the great procession was to 
take place. Half London shivered in its shoes and 
the other half laughed at the idea of real mischief. 
As a matter of fact, though English folk were willing 
to agitate, they did not feel themselves sufficiently 
aggrieved either to die or to kill for their troubles. So 
that the people who were wise enough to gauge public 
temper laughed with justice. Many ladies went for 
walks and drives as usual, yet London was practically 
in a state of siege, for there were a quarter of a million 
"specials" enrolled, one for every Chartist expected. 
The Duke of Wellington had command of the military, 
and though not a soldier or a gun could be seen, armies 
were ready to be turned into the streets at a bugle call. 
Alas ! Royalty, perhaps unnerved by European events, 
gave way to panic, for though the new baby was only 
twenty days old, the Queen, Prince, and their family 
fled to Osborne two days before the great march was 
to take place. Greville, Clerk of Her Majesty's 
Privy Council, keenly desired that the Queen would 
remain in town ; Sir James Graham was strongly against 
her going away, saying that it looked like cowardice 


in her personally, and indicated a sense of danger 
which ought not to be shown; Peel agreed with this, 
and said he would speak with the Prince. However, 
Lord John Russell, who was not often listened to 
unless he said that which he was desired to say, may 
have thought differently, and advised Her Majesty to 
go, for away they all went to a house of which a part 
had collapsed, and most of which was in the hands of 
workmen, the Prince thinking Windsor too near 
London to be safe. The poor old Duchess of Kent 
who was in a very scared state of mind, was not taken 
with them, so she had to be content with the to her 
doubtful security of Frogmore. 

The Chartists were met by the Chief Constable at 
Kennington and warned that the procession was 
illegal, upon which, in great relief, the men gathered 
there, from fifteen to twenty thousand, some say only 
ten thousand, dispersed, though their petition was 
taken in cabs to the House. 

The Royal flight was a great error. Such measures 
had been taken for public, as well as Royal, safety 
that no danger was expected excepting to shop win- 
dows along the route; and it led to a recurrence of 
unfavourable opinion about the Prince, which was 
fanned by such verses as : 

"That Albert's a very great ' leader ' 

Of troops, must be plain to a dolt, 
But this you'll allow, my dear reader, 
He's deucedly given to ' bolt. ' " 

He was called the Flying Dutchman, and was said 
to have gone suddenly to Osborne to defend it against 


Ledru Rollin (the chief of the French revolutionaries) 
and fifty thousand sans culottes; but as they did not 
come he returned to London to defend it against the 
Chartists, only to find, to his disappointment, that the 
movement had already been suppressed. 

There is little doubt that Palmerston's policy at 
this time was worthy both of himself and of England. 
He did not truckle to the despotic Kings, great or 
small, which, as the Queen was a strong believer in 
the sanctity of monarchy, and thought it "infamous 
to sacrifice the little rulers," seemed very wrong to her, 
so that she described his advice given abroad as " bitter 
as gall and doing great harm." He could see what 
was hidden from her eyes, that in some countries, to 
avert destruction, only a loosening of the tight bonds 
of government was needed, the giving of more free- 
dom, the recognition of humanity in the poor ; and in 
these cases he counselled concessions, a course which 
prejudiced and less observant people like the Queen 
declared was simply encouraging revolution. 

It is the misfortune of those in power, of those 
who possess, that their very position blinds them to 
facts patent to others. They take as their motto : 
" What I have I keep," and so sometimes lose all, 
when if they would but concede a little they might 
keep almost all and gain in credit. 

The attention of the Queen and the Prince was 
truly concentrated, not on Palmerston's real work 
abroad, but on his relation to themselves and to those 
Royalties in whom they were interested. They felt 
that he thought he knew better than they did which 


was true, and they saw that he intended to go his own 
way in spite of them, which was annoying. The con- 
flicts became constant, and in almost every one the 
Queen-Prince was worsted, and so the whole strength 
of their dislike was turned upon the man who had 
kept the fame of England healthy when Europe was 
in convulsions, who had made this country an asylum 
for all kinds of Royal fugitives, friendly or inimical 
with each other, and who in turn was consulted by the 
Chief Minister in each of the invalid kingdoms. As 
Nicholas said: "What now remains in Europe? 
England and Russia ! " 

Making allowance for their limitations, it is quite 
possible to sympathise with the Royal pair, for it was 
not a dignified position for them. Greville, for 
instance, said somewhat approvingly of the Minister : 
" Palmerston's defects prove rather useful in his inter- 
course with the Court. To their wishes or remon- 
strances he expresses the greatest deference, and then 
goes on his own course without paying the least atten- 
tion to what they have been saying to him." Surely 
one of the most irritating forms of opposition it is 
possible to endure ! Lord John was treated by him 
in the same way, but he knew Palmerston's value and 
understood his aims better than the Queen, and he 
also knew how far Pam had a right to do as he did, 
and so felt no real resentment. In one despatch 
Russell took exception to various things, and pointed 
them out to Palmerston, who listened but said nothing. 
Later, in talking this over with the Queen, she replied : 
" No, did you say all that ? " " Yes," he said. " Well 


then, it produced no effect, for the despatch is gone. 
Lord Palmerston sent it to me. I know it is 

Pam was accused of forgetting to answer letters, as 
in the case of the letters over the Spanish marriages, 
the blame of which delay he had to bear, though it lay 
with Victoria-Albert, but he never really forgot. If 
he himself delayed it was generally a matter of policy. 
On the contrary, he was quick and businesslike, and 
demanded the same qualities from his subordinates. 
Thus he decreed in the Foreign Office that his clerks 
should come themselves when he rang the bell, instead 
of being solemnly summoned by an intermediary. 
The dignity of the clerks was outraged, they said they 
were being turned into menials, and did their best at 
resistance. Odo Russell, however, made the sensible 
remark that whatever method took him most 
quickly to his chief was the method for him, and he 
was regarded as a traitor by the habit-encrusted and 
blind clerks, whose names were never included in the 
book of fame, while Russell eventually filled the proud 
post of an Ambassador. 

On one occasion Victoria told Palmerston that she 
was ashamed of the policy he was pursuing in Italy, 
for she hated the idea that the Italian provinces should 
be taken from Austria's weak grasp. She told Russell 
that he simply must get rid of Palmerston, she could 
endure such conduct no longer. Russell sympathised, 
but did nothing. Later, after innumerable complaints 
and painful friction, Victoria again told him she was 
seriously anxious; in fact, felt quite ill with anxiety, 



and that some plan must be found to get rid of her 
Foreign Minister. And she had the bright idea of 
suggesting that Clarendon, Secretary for Ireland, and 
Palmerston should change places. As the Secretary- 
ship of Ireland was then regarded as a sinecure so far 
as work was concerned, she could hardly have offered 
Palmerston a more deadly insult. Lord John, with 
every respect, replied that his colleague was a very 
able man, entirely master of his office and affairs, never 
interfering in other questions, though resenting any 
interference with his own office. He, however, pro- 
mised to do what he could for the Queen, and so for 
a bit the matter again rested. 

Pam was accused of cutting open some letters 
addressed to the Queen at the Foreign Office before 
sending them on to her. This made her very angry, 
though, of course, business letters about foreign matters 
should not have been sent to her personally at the 
Foreign Office, and being sent there the responsible 
Minister was right in opening them. But everything 
Palmerston did was wrong. 

The Queen-Prince loudly accused him to their rela- 
tives of showing friendship to France at this time 
through personal motives, just as they had said his 
enmity to Louis Philippe had been personal. They 
could not see that the French Republic, which was 
not likely to fight England, was valuable as an ally, 
and that Palmerston was very skilfully training it as 
such, whereas the French under Louis Philippe were 
always anxious to spring at England's throat. This 
want of comprehension was scarcely worthy of Albert. 


but it was characteristic of Victoria it showed the same 
defect in character which made her love country dances 
and round games; if her cards were on the table she 
could not believe that the cards in the hands of her 
partner or her opponents might form combinations with 
her own at which she could not guess. 

Thus while the Foreign Minister was working at 
an elaborate policy which should bring peace, and 
settle matters, generally with concessions to the revolt- 
ing side, his dual Monarch was demanding not only to 
be kept primed with every move in the game, but to 
interfere with every move. Unless the Monarch had 
a head for understanding in every point what was being 
attempted, this would be destruction to the game 
almost as soon as it was begun; and only a simple- 
minded or shallow Minister could put up with it. Had 
Palmerston been always on the side of Kings and the 
confederacy which later became Germany there would 
have been no difficulty ; he would have told his plans, 
they would have been approved, and everything would 
have gone lightly in the mutual relationship how 
things would have gone internationally would have 
been another matter. 

This Royal demand for the power of interference 
was not made upon the Prime Minister nor upon the 
other officers of State, who carried out their policies 
in conjunction with the Cabinet and the House; but 
the Prince had been so imbued by Stockmar and his 
training with the idea that the foreign policy should 
be dictated by the Crown, that, in spite of all rebuffs, 
he went on torturing himself over it, and the Minister 

P 2 


continued to be put to all kinds of subterfuges in 
resisting his demand. 

There was a dispute over sending an Ambassador 
to France during the second Republic, the Queen's 
affection for Louis Philippe making her desire to 
affront the French nation by sending a Minister only, 
an act which would have jeopardised all Pam's European 
work. So, without further argument, he coolly sent 
Normanby back as Ambassador ! From the Queen's 
point of view he was impossible. 

He did more than that, though, for when Queen 
Maria of Portugal found that her misrule was likely 
to cost her her throne, and wrote to Victoria for help, 
Palmerston insisted that the cause of Donna Maria's 
troubles was her reliance upon her Coburg adviser 
Dietz, and that she should dismiss him. Victoria's 
indignation at the idea that a native of Coburg could 
be an ill-adviser may be imagined ! But Pam dictated 
a letter to the Portuguese Queen which he insisted 
upon his own Queen copying with her own hand, and 
sending to Donna Maria; just as he demanded a 
personally written letter from her according to his 
dictation to be sent in answer to a private one on inter- 
national affairs from the King of Prussia. It is not 
to be wondered at that Victoria-Albert hated the man 
who so lowered their pride. 

Then there came a quarrel with Greece. Its King 
Otho, un enfant gate de Vabsolutisme, had no regard 
for persons, and as his Government followed his lead, 
the foreign residents, English and other subjects in 
Greece, had no safeguard against oppression, and 

[E titery Walker 

From a Painting by John Partridge in the National Portrait Gallery. 


were for years robbed and cheated. Many remon- 
strances had been made, and at last Pam decided to 
follow words with action. When an Englishman had 
some land taken from him and added to King Otho's 
garden, and a Jew, native of Gibraltar, had his house 
pillaged by Greeks, both being refused any com- 
pensation, Palmerston demanded it. Three years 
were spent to no purpose in attempted negotiations by 
the British Consul at Athens, for Greece did not 
believe that England would truly interfere. Then 
Palmerston ordered the Fleet to the Adriatic, and 
Greece, like the little old woman with her pig, began 
to call upon Russia and upon France, and those two 
countries began to make a conference, and the Queen 
and Prince began to pity, not their poor subjects who 
had been and were being ground down under a legiti- 
matised robbery, but the autocratic King Otho, and the 
Prince began to call upon France to have a conference 
in London as to the exact amount of compensation 
which strict justice demanded. Then while the Queen 
and Prince, Russia, and France were discussing 
matters, the affair ended, for Pam had carried out his 
settled policy, had wrung the required compensation 
from Otho, and had taught Greece a lesson about 
England. In fact, he had " forgotten " to obey orders, 
and the little woman did not get home with her 

The French Ambassador was recalled from London 
dramatically on the Queen's birthday, the Russian 
and Greek Ambassadors did not appear as usual at 
the Foreign Office dinner that day, and the Duke of 


Wellington, when asked what he thought of the situa- 
tion, replied: "Oh, oh, it's all right; it's all non- 


Russian agents in conjunction with Madame Lieven 
were at work, hoping England would respond by re- 
calling their Ambassador from Paris, and that a real 
quarrel would be caused between France and Eng- 
land, which was not, however, in Palmerston's pro- 
gramme, and he, by various conciliations, smoothed 
France down; but before the matter was settled the 
Queen's agitation and the Prince's anger had forced 
a crisis at home. Lord Stanley in the House of Lords 
moved a resolution which was practically a vote 
of censure on the offending Minister, and it was 
carried by a majority of thirty-seven. A week later 
Mr. Roebuck introduced into the Commons a motion 
approving of the foreign policy of England, which 
was calculated " in times of unexampled danger to pre- 
serve peace between England and the various nations 
of the world." 

This was debated for four nights, and then " from 
the dusk of one day to the dawn of the next " Palmer- 
ston replied without note, pause or hesitation, as 
Gladstone said. Sir Theodore Martin under the 
Queen's influence belittles Palmerston's speech, but 
Peel, in concluding the debate, said that it was "a 
most able and a most temperate speech, which made 
us proud of the man who delivered it." At its con- 
clusion every party in the House cheered Pam 
enthusiastically, and the majority for him was forty- 
six, thus reversing the decision of the Peers. 


How far the Queen and Prince were responsible for 
this it is not easy to say, but the former, in writing 
to her uncle Leopold, remarked, most significantly : 
"What do you say to the conclusion of our debate? 
It leaves things just as they were. The House of 
Commons is becoming very unmanageable and trouble- 
some. . . ." 

Palmerston himself said : " The attack on our 
foreign policy has been rightly understood by every- 
body, as the shot fired by a foreign conspiracy aided 
and abetted by a domestic intrigue; and the parties 
have so entirely failed in the purpose, that instead of 
expelling and overthrowing me with disgrace, as 
they intended and hoped to do, they have rendered 
me, for the present, the most popular Minister that 
for a very long course of time has held my 

Sir Theodore Martin naturally deals with the affair 
entirely from the Queen's point of view, and, like her, 
he judges the Greek matter as an incident, whether 
A and B should each receive a certain sum in com- 
pensation, or whether they were not extortionate in 
their demands. The principle behind the action, the 
real great question of British honour, its strength to 
protect its own people, and to stand unafraid and 
unashamed before the whole of Europe seemed in 
no way to have been grasped by them. Yet both would 
have called themselves Imperialists ! 

One sees, however, where the Queen-Prince stood. 
They were eminently honest, straightfoward people, 
who believed in the Christian principle of " Judge as 


you would be judged," and they thought it natural to 
treat foreign countries as individuals, accord to them 
all the forbearance, courtesy and patient hearing that 
they would accord to their nearest and dearest, indeed 
more, for one is apt to get angry with provocation 
close at hand. It was an ideal which, with the help 
of their beloved Lord Aberdeen, they carried out later 
with the Czar of all the Russias. They talked nicely 
to him, made little concessions, not doubting he would 
return them in kind, and Nicholas like Guizot at Eu 
remembered a certain talk he had had with Aber- 
deen at Windsor, and vague promises which had 
been made, and he said to himself, " England is in my 
hand, they will let me do as I like. Wellington is 
dead, Palmerston is nowhere. Then I may do my 
will with Turkey." And so came death to tens of 

On reading about this prolonged struggle between 
the Queen-Prince and their Minister in the pages of 
Martin and in the Queen's letters my sympathies were 
at first with the Queen, but a deeper study proved 
without doubt that the power and the understanding 
lay on the side of Palmerston, and that his actions 
raised the reputation of England to a higher point 
than it had ever stood before. 

That the royal feeling against Palmerston was 
definitely personal as well as political, is proved 
by the Queen's own letters; but Pam showed in no 
way any feeling against the Queen in his corre- 
spondence. In 1845, when Peel's evasiveness and 
Russell's consciousness that no one but Palmerston 


could be Foreign Minister, prevented Lord John from 
forming a Ministry, it was said that the Queen had 
triumphed all along the line, and the issue was com- 
pletely satisfactory to her. On the other hand, the 
feeling of the Whig Cabinet and of Palmerston him- 
self was shown when Palmerston, remarking to Lord 
Broughton that the Queen's real feeling towards them 
on foreign, and particularly Austrian politics, was very 
unfriendly, Broughton replied : " That cannot be 
helped, we must do our duty irrespective of all 
personal preference." " To be sure ! " replied Pal- 
merston, " it does not signify a single pin." 

Later the Duke of Buckingham, a great Tory, paid 
a high tribute to Palmerston when he wrote : " His 
experience, his tact, his judgment, his inexhaustible 
good humour and rare political sagacity, have main- 
tained his party in power when blunders of every 
kind have most severely tried the patience of the 



THE Prince gradually absorbed into his own hands 
all the political work of the Sovereign, though the 
Queen on occasions copied out despatches, and still 
took a lively interest in things that were passing, 
but motherhood offered her so much that was new 
that she had time for little more than the outer forms 
of royalty. The Prince was also active in other 
ways; he altered the gardens of Buckingham Palace 
and Windsor, was interested in small building opera- 
tions on the two estates, raising an aviary, dove 
house, dog kennels, etc., and when at last in 1842 
the devoted Lehzen had been induced to take a 
long, long holiday, he turned his attention to domestic 

Gradually rumours had arisen as to the Queen's 
debts, and people began to say that she was a true chip 
of the old Georgian block, as exemplified in George 
IV. and his brothers. We are so used to the nice 
suave paragraphs in biographies as to how judiciously 
little Victoria spent or gave a shilling, that it is forgotten 
that the starving person may gorge when opportunity 



offers. The little Princess had been kept so short of 
money that she did not know how to use it when 
she had wealth, she spent what she desired, ordered 
what she wished, and never inquired into cost. Thus 
on her marriage she had not and somewhat naturally 
sacrificed her desires concerning clothes for the 
good of her people; she had ordered many things in 
Paris, and it was reported that to one foreign firm 
alone she had paid fifteen thousand pounds for linen, 
including handkerchiefs at ten guineas apiece; and 
later she was not less extravagant. 

So the Honourable Charles Murray, as Master of 
the Household, found himself in 1840 face to face 
with a difficult task, that of limiting Royal expendi- 
ture, without troubling his Royal mistress, and he 
tried a futile sort of economy. He could not reduce 
the forty pounds a year paid to the housemaids in 
wages, without higher authority, so he turned his 
attention to smaller things, and taking a hint from the 
Continent some say from Prince Albert he an- 
nounced that thenceforth the underlings of the Palace 
would find their own soap ! A little later tea 
was knocked off the list, only cocoa being dis- 
pensed to the servants, and then it was reported 
though it is hardly credible that hearthstones, 
mops and brushes were to be found by the users 
thereof ! 

Apropos of this it is curious that there seems always 
to have been a dearth of small things in the Palace. 
Candles have furnished material for talk over and 
over again. The custom was retained until Prince 


Albert and Stockmar began to sweep the Palace 
clean, of lighting the ballroom on State occasions with 
eight hundred candles, the remains of which, at the 
end of the evening, became the perquisites of the 
footmen. This had the amusing effect of causing 
these men to forget their duties when guests were 
departing that they might linger in the vicinity of 
the ballroom, and as soon as the room was empty 
they would swoop in like an army and tear the candle 
ends from the sconces, each fighting and struggling to 
gain the greatest number. 

In later years, when reform was an accomplished 
fact, Madame Titiens often told the story of how, being 
summoned to Windsor to sing before the Queen, she 
found herself condemned to dress by the light of two 
candles only. On asking for more, she was informed 
by the servant that the allowance to each room was 
just two candles and no more. " But," added the 
maid considerately, " there is no regulation which 
would prevent you cutting those two candles in halves 
and making four." 

Matches, too, seem to have been at a premium, for 
Baroness Bunsen tells that once her husband, when 
staying at Windsor, rose before dawn to do some 
work, which pressed on his mind, and hunted every- 
where for a match. However, there were none in the 
room, and by skilful blowing he managed to fan 
enough flame from the dying coal to get a piece of 
paper ignited. Apropos of another occasion of the 
sort, the Baroness says: "One must make an N.B. 
when one visits queens, they give you everything but 


matches. I was in the extreme of distress for one 
at Queen Adelaide's." 

Though wonderful economies were gradually 
effected, and jobbery on a small scale was much 
reduced, the Queen was cheated by her loyal servants 
and tradesmen to the end of her days, for there seems 
always to have been a firm belief in Windsor that the 
town should live on the Castle. I have been told 
that every chicken which appeared on Her Majesty's 
table cost half-a-guinea, and other charges were not 
less light; while a bottle of brandy brought to some 
fortunate, but not too conscientious, official an income 
for many years. 

It happened that on one long drive in Scotland 
Prince Albert fainted. The distracted Queen could 
only wait until they got to some place where brandy 
was to be secured to revive him, so in terror she sup- 
ported her husband while the coachman galloped his 
horses over three or four miles of road until houses 
were reached. After that Victoria commanded that 
a bottle of brandy should be placed in her carriage 
every time she drove out, and as the bottle was removed 
before the carriage went back to the stables, and as 
a new bottle was put there each time it again came to 
the door, and was never opened by the Queen, 
someone had cause to congratulate himself on the 
fainting attack. 

Another curious little incident which gave rise to 
domestic heartburnings is told in The Times' life of 
Her Majesty. The Prince, examining a list of Palace 
charges, was puzzled over a weekly expenditure of 


thirty-five shillings for " Red Room Wine." He in- 
vestigated this charge, being naturally hindered at 
every step, until at last he discovered that a certain 
room at Windsor had been used temporarily during 
the reign of George III. as a guardroom, and that five 
shillings a day had been allowed to provide wine for 
the officers. The guard had been removed many years 
before, but the item for wine which still figured in the 
cellarage account had become the perquisite of a half- 
pay officer, who held the sinecure of under-butler. The 
Prince offered him the choice of relinquishing the 
wine money or of really becoming a butler, much to 
his horror. 

Then came a gradual weeding out of servants, in- 
cluding a reduction in the number of the Yeomen 
of the Guard. The news of the dismissals appeared 
in the Court Journal, and inquiries soon elicited the 
fact that while twenty-five thousand pounds were to 
be saved to the Queen in wages, all the servants were 
to be pensioned from the public purse. Sarcastic 
articles appeared under the title of " Royal Cheese- 
parings," and there was a general sentiment that had 
Prince Albert loved money less the English would 
have loved him more. 

The Queen knew well how to ensure a better income 
to her beloved than Parliament had voted him, 
by conferring upon him valuable sinecures, and there 
were always the Duchies of Cornwall and Lancaster 
to add riches to their wealth. The Prince was already 
a Field Marshal, and Colonel of the nth Hussars; 
when Lord Munster, eldest son of William IV., 


committed suicide it was said because of his unhap- 
piness with his wife Prince Albert became Governor 
of Windsor Castle and Warden of the Round Tower, 
which offices carried considerable emoluments with 
them. An unpopular appointment was the lucrative 
one of Lord Warden of the Stannaries, 1 which 
required an expert knowledge of tin mines and the 
mining world. There were, of course, not wanting 
some who asserted that the Prince was eminently fitted 
for the post, as he had shown himself so well able 
to look after the " tin," but a contemporary paper was 
severe in its comments on his first Court. " Here 
was a beardless young gentleman, hardly able to speak 
consecutive sentences in English, totally unacquainted 
with English jurisprudence, to say nothing of the com- 
plexity of our laws, solemnly sitting for six hours, 
as judge, hearing long legal arguments of abstruse 
character. What a farce ! " 

As for the Duchies, that of Cornwall became the 
property of the Prince of Wales at his birth, and was 
governed by a Commission which gave the Queen what 
she wished for the babe's support, and accumulated the 
remainder, after the charges had been withdrawn, the 
income from it rising gradually to 66,000, a pros- 
perity in which the labourer upon its many estates 
did not participate. The men whose work made much 

1 Stannary Courts held jurisdiction in Cornwall and Devon 
over the tin mines, the miners being exempt from all other 
jurisdiction excepting in cases affecting land, life, and limb. 
Twenty-four Stannators were returned from Cornwall, presided 
over by a Vice- Warden. The Crown appointed a Lord Warden, 
who assembled " Parliaments " from time to time, to revise old 
or enact new laws. 


of the land's success received in 1846 seven shillings 
a week for six twelve-hour days ; young men had from 
half-a-crown to six shillings a week, much of the wages 
being paid on the truck system, wheat, butter and 
cheese being charged market price. These people only 
tasted meat when some animal was slaughtered "to 
prevent its dying," such as a sheep with the staggers, 
"breeding-ewe mutton" or a cow with the "quarter 
evil," and then the farmer would value it at twopence- 
halfpenny the pound and force it on his labourers. 
Though we are told that Victoria pitied the tenants 
who, on making improvements had their rents raised, 
there is no evidence that she used her influence in 
commanding the Commissioners to inquire into the 
condition of the labourers, though the terrible lives 
they lived were reported in the London papers. 

On the contrary, so successful was the Commission 
in raising revenues from Cornwall that a like Council 
was formed to farm the Duchy of Lancaster, with the 
result that from 27,000 it in a few years yielded an 
income of 60,000 for its Royal owner. 

In three or four years, by the careful manipulation 
of money, the Queen and Prince were able to spend 
out of private income 200,000 in setting up a private 
estate, where they could enjoy "the simple life" to 
their hearts' content. At first their holiday place had 
been Claremont, where, weather permitting, the whole 
family could live in the open air, and many domestic 
stories are told of babies lying on a rug on the grass, 
of little people taking first lessons in riding, and of 
Her Majesty's love of dressing-up being gratified by 


the eldest boy and girl being presented to her clothed 
as " natives of that picturesque country of the Tyrol, 
where, as Hofer proved, peasants become heroes." 

They also tried the Pavilion at Brighton, but 
Victoria was so mobbed every time she went out of 
doors that she never afterwards liked the place. She 
however scarcely gave it a fair chance, and the people, 
who, hoping for the return of the old Regency times, 
had been too exuberant in their joy, found themselves 
put permanently out of favour. 

So Osborne House, with about eight hundred acres, 
in the Isle of Wight, was bought, and the foundation 
stone of a new residence laid in 1845. The building 
took until 1851, and when most of the rooms were 
up, the arch of one of the largest all the rooms were 
arched collapsed, carrying with it the joists, killing 
one man and injuring others. However, from 1846 
the Royal Family went there constantly to live with 
some reservations the peaceful life of the middle 

Mr. James Baker, in his " Literary and Biographical 
Sketches," gives some interesting incidents and anec- 
dotes of the Royal doings there, and has in conversa- 
tion told me of others, such as the following { : 

When on duty in the grounds about ten o'clock one 
night a young policeman saw a man passing swiftly into 
the shadow of some trees; so going quietly after him 
he clapped his hand on his shoulder, demanding to 
know what he was doing there. Receiving no answer, 
he said, " You must come with me and give an account 
of yourself ! " and dragged his prisoner straight into 



the kitchen, to be received there with a scream and 
then dead silence, all the servants rising to their feet. 
Bewildered, the policeman looked at his companion, 
and then let his hand drop slowly from the coat- 
collar, petrified with confusion, for it was the Prince 
Consort ! Albert shook himself a little, went to the 
door and disappeared to resume his walk, having, 
characteristically, uttered no word. The servants 
gathered, with both laughter and sympathy, round the 
poor policeman, who, knowing no comfort, spent the 
night in the deepest depression; when he was sent 
for in the morning, it was to receive, not dismissal, 
as he feared, but commendation for his prompt 
attention to duty. 

At Osborne the Prince gained a feeling of freedom, 
he could walk where he would without being troubled 
with crowds of people, and the longed-for sensation 
of privacy descended upon him. Sometimes he must 
have heartily wished that he had married in a different 
station, or rather that his dear Victoria was just a 
very rich private lady, who could go where she desired 
without comment. The Queen would not have liked 
it, though, with her usual mental submission, she 
thought she would. 

Once when the two were walking together a heavy 
thunderstorm came on, and they took shelter under 
the porch of the village post-office, the owner of which 
begged them to enter. On their refusal the woman 
insisted upon lending them an umbrella, so the Royal 
pair marched gaily away under the shelter of a green 
whalebone gamp. The next morning a scarlet-clad 


footman brought it back with a letter, containing a five- 
pound note. The cottage lady for was she not a 
lady in all her instincts and delicacy of mind? took 
her umbrella back, then saying it was impossible that 
she could receive payment for such an ordinary act 
of politeness, returned the note. The Queen, however, 
sent it her a second time, with words which prevailed 
upon the good dame to accept it. 

Queen Victoria shared her husband's feeling of 
serenity and said of the escape from the regulations 
of a State house : " It sounds so pleasant to have a 
place of one's own, quiet and retired, and free from 
all Woods and Forests and other charming Depart- 
ments, which really are the plague of one's life." 

Osborne, of which Sir Charles Lyell said that it 
was a very pleasant residence, " like a small German 
Principality Palace," also had its summer-house in 
the form of a Swiss cottage, where the children were 
free to make culinary and building messes, and to 
play the host to their parents; and as it was near 
enough to Windsor to allow frequent visits, it still 
further drew the Queen and Court from London. 

It was at Osborne in September, 1849, tnat George 
Anson, a man who was honest and straightforward, 
though sometimes blunt and outspoken, incapable of 
intrigue, and, though strongly prejudiced against the 
Germans, entirely devoted to his master's interests, 
fell unconscious while talking to his wife and never 
regained his senses. He had won the friendship and 
confidence of the Prince, who said of him, " He was 
my only intimate friend. We went through every- 

Q 2 


thing together since I came here. He was almost 
like a brother to me." Then the Prince and Victoria 
shut themselves away from their attendants to shed 
floods of tears over their loss. 

Why did men weep at that time? There are con- 
stant allusions in the "Letters" to Melbourne looking 
at his Queen-pupil with tears in his eyes; Peel seems 
to have done it occasionally; and the Prince asserted 
that Palmerston once promised reformation "with 
tears in his eyes " ! It is curious to think there should 
be a fashion in crying as in other things, for neither 
men nor women find much use for tears nowadays; 
they are, with many other Victorian peculiarities, rele- 
gated to the children. However, the German love 
for a sentimental scene made tears very popular during 
the 'forties, ^and the Queen and Prince shed them 
easily. They both indulged in a kind of loving regard 
for Death, and never failed to pay him homage in the 
shape of flowers and monuments or mausoleums, 
according to the nearness or rank of the friend taken 
by the Destroyer. They made plans for their own 
burial-place long years before either of them needed 
it, and the Queen shed such a wealth of tears over 
each member of the family who died that one 
wonders she was not entirely dissolved sometimes. Yet 
she was a good Christian and Churchwoman, who 
believed enthusiastically in the glory of heaven and 
the happiness to which the good dead attained. Had 
she been glad for them, it would have been more 
understandable, but grief of this kind was a luxury to 
her, and she revelled in the observance of anniversaries 


of all kinds, gay as well as mournful, until the Prince 
himself found them a burden. 

A year earlier than this a terrible accident hap- 
pened between Osborne and Portsmouth. The Royal 
family were crossing in the yacht Fairy when it ran 
down a boat which had put off from the frigate 
Gram-pm, carrying five women and two watermen to 
the shore. How much the Queen knew of the real 
facts it is difficult to tell. Lady Lyttelton says that a 
sudden and violent squall arose and upset the boat, 
that the Prince was the first to see the people struggling 
in the water, and shouted to Lord Adolphus, who was 
in commandj to stop the yacht, which his lordship 
roundly refused to do, saying that the Fairy was 
hardly safe herself. But he had a boat let down to 
help the people. However, Lady Lyttelton was not 
sure of her facts, for she says four men at least were 
drowned. It is also impossible for those in a large 
boat to know what has happened at the bow when they 
see people struggling in the water alongside. The 
unfortunate fact was that the Fairy, going at high 
speed, ran the little boat down, that of seven people 
only three were rescued, and that the commander of 
the Royal yacht thought his post as guardian of royalty 
of such extreme importance that he refused to stop to 
save the lives of ordinary people. Sir Sidney Lee 
mentions the matter casually in a footnote, simply an- 
nouncing the fact that the Fairy had run down the boat 
and that three women were drowned. 

The Queen believed at the time that the accident 
had nothing to do with her yacht, and wrote of it in 


her Diary : " We could not stop. It was a dreadful 
moment, too horrible to describe. ... It is a consola- 
tion to think we were of some use, and also that, even 
if the yacht had remained, they could not have done 
more. Still, we all kept on feeling we might, though I 
think we could not. ... It is a terrible thing, and haunts 
me continually." 

Lady Lyttelton practically destroys Lord Adol- 
phus's excuse that it was not safe to stop by saying that 
" there really was some trifling bolt or screw wrong, 
and therefore it was particularly necessary to manage 
everything right." 

I wonder what a King who is scarcely likely to be 
so thoroughly wrapped up in cotton-wool as a Queen 
would do in the same circumstances, whether he would 
be obliged to let his ship's commander disgrace his 
reputation for courage and just dealing in the same 

If Osborne gave joy to the Queen and the Prince, 
Scotland filled their hearts with rapture. They liked 
it on their first visit in 1842, and still better when they 
went to Blair Athol in 1844. Even before they ever 
went North the Queen's romantic turn of mind brought 
the Highland soldiers into prominence, their bare 
knees much shocking the susceptibilities of the English 
people ! H. H. reduced the matter to one for laughter 
by publishing a picture of the regiment standing 
around the porch of the Palace while the Queen, with 
pleasant smiles, presents colours to each man in the 
form of a pair of tartan breeks, saying that they are a 
mark of admiration for their man-ceuvres. 


Victoria loved the country, the people, the moun- 
tains, the lakes, and the trees, nowhere in all the world 
did anything comparable to them exist; England and 
the English were really scarcely fit to be neighbours 
to such a wonderful country. On returning to this 
unbelievably inferior land the Queen would weary her 
ladies and her visitors by the constant paean of praise 
which she sung of the sister country, until many of them 
wished that the good God had forgotten to invent the 
Highlands. The very cairngorms found there were 
sentimentally more precious to her than diamonds, 
and at Balmoral she treasured a monster stone weigh- 
ing two hundred and seventy-eight ounces, being about 
nine inches across, which had been found years before 
at Braemar. Scotch pearls, too, she particularly prized, 
especially if they were taken from the River Dee. 
These were of delicate greens, blues, and pinks, suf- 
fused with a kind of metallic lustre. They were, how- 
ever, of no great intrinsic value. 

In the autumn of 1844 the Queen and Prince, taking 
the Princess Royal, went to Blair Athol, where all the 
restrictions which their high position imposed were cast 
aside, and Her Majesty might be seen walking about 
the grounds early in the morning. Her piper had 
orders to play the pibroch under her window at seven 
o'clock, and at the same time a bunch of fresh heather 
and some icy water from the spring at Glen Tilt were 
taken up to her. 

Sometimes, however, she was out of doors by seven, 
and on one occasion called at The Lodge, where the 
Glenlyons were temporarily residing, only to find that 


everyone was still in bed. Going back she lost her 
way, and asking it of some reapers they pointed to a 
path over the palings, which she duly climbed. 

The papers published complimentary paragraphs as 
to the way in which Victoria lessened the work of her 
servants on this visit, and cited as evidence her order 
to the Highlanders on duty in the grounds not to 
present arms each time they saw one of the royal family, 
but to follow a rule of presenting them twice a day to 
herself, once to Prince Albert, and once to the Princess 

The first Sunday the little church was a peaceful, 
half-empty place ; the second it was more than filled, 
for strangers from the whole countryside came early, 
so that when Her Majesty entered there was a scram- 
bling and scraping, the people standing up and even 
standing on their chairs to get a glimpse of their young 
Monarch. Then when service was over the unmannerly 
ones made a rush for the doors, and the Queen would 
have been mobbed if the Highlanders had not been 
there to impose a stiff living line between her and her 
too-curious subjects. The same thing is said to have 
happened at Dundee when the royal couple were re- 
turning home, for the policemen and special constables 
were so busy "gaping at the show" that they had no 
thought for their work, and let the people press so 
violently and rudely on the Queen that she was in some 
danger of being pressed entirely over the Quay side, 
a danger only averted by the soldiers of the 6oth Rifles 
presenting bayonets to the crowd. 

It was of this that a cartoon entitled A Warm Recep- 


tion in the North was published, in which a frightened 
Prince was being embraced by Scotch women, and men 
of all sorts were leering at the alarmed Queen. Indeed, 
the early Scotch visits gave much work to the carica- 

" Political Hit No. 28," named " First Sip of the 
Mountain Dew," showed the Prince in an elevated and 
happy frame of mind unsteadily holding a glass, while 
a Scotch Laird pledges him. Peel is talking to a 
woman at a cottage door, evidently pointing out that 
the whiskey is from a private still, for the woman 
answers, " Na duty ! has it no done its duty to the 
bonnie Prince yonder? Gin Her Majesty takes some 
it would be as dutiful to her, so take yere dram, and 
fash no more aboot it, ye tax sliding loon ! " The 
Queen, waiting at a distance, is murmuring : " Bless 
me, how tipsy Albert looks"; while her spouse is 
saying, "Come! We'll have another shot. I shall 
bring 'em down in couples now." 

As the Prince spent most of his time shooting and 
stalking deer, it was an apposite allusion. These were 
both absorbing occupations, though never so absorbing 
to him that he was ready to forgo his dinner for their 
sake. The day's arrangements had always to be made 
so as to allow of his returning home at two o'clock, 
for at this hour an intense hunger assailed him, and 
he longed for the meal at which he was in the habit of 
eating wisely perhaps, well certainly. 

Probably that he might make his estate more attrac- 
tive to the Prince, the Duke of Athol shut up Glen 
Tilt, about twenty square miles of property, forbidding 


anyone to cross it for fear of getting in the wind and 
alarming the deer. This was a tremendous loss to the 
country people, who assailed the Duke with prayers 
and petitions, none of which made any impression upon 
him. The editor of The Man in the Moon let his fancy 
run away with him when he printed a supposed letter 
from the Queen, remonstrating with the Duke's 
arbitrary act, for she was not likely to disagree with a 
plan which would add to her husband's pleasure. In 
fact, in her diary she tells how on one occasion " most 
provokingly two men who were walking on the road 
which they had no business to have done suddenly 
came in sight, and then the herd all ran back again, 
and the sport was spoiled." 

One day the Prince shot no fewer than nineteen 
deer, and what he did with them " the chiel amang ye 
takin' notes" tells: 

" Then from the scene that viewed his warlike toils 
The blood-stained victor hastens with his spoils, 
And laid them humbly at Victoria's feet 
To such a Queen most intellectual treat. 
So on the grass plot to a shambles changed 
The gory things were scrupulously ranged, 
Before the windows of the Royal guest 
Famed for the woman-softness of her breast." 

At that time Scotland had the reputation of suffering 
from a fault which has happily been long forgotten. 
It was indicated in a saying of Douglas Jerrold's, to 
whom an artist named Leitch, one of the Queen's 
drawing-masters, on being introduced to him, ex- 
plained somewhat superfluously that he was not John 


" No, no, I know," said the wit ; " you are the Leitch 
with an itch in his name." 

On this matter the cartoonists were merciless. In 
one picture the Royal company are represented at 
dinner, all looking most uncomfortable, the Queen 
crying : " Oh, Sir James (Clark), do give me a back- 
scratcher, or I shall certainly go mad." Prince Albert, 
writhing, says : " Ah, ah, vat is dis I vas get ? I 
scratch mineself all ovare into noding at all; I wish, 
Lady B., you would come; you can scratch me so 


Another picture shows them going on board for 
home, among the many presents they are carrying 
being Glenlivet and herrings in casks, and a huge jar 
of sulphur, the antidote for the trouble. A third 
drawing gives their home-coming, John Bull welcom- 
ing them, Peel in the background rubbing his shoulder 
against the doorpost, the Queen expatiating on the 
good time they have had ; and John Bull replying : 
" Glad am I to see you back again, although these are 
not the times for junketing. But I hope, Victoria, you 
have not brought anything in hand which, to judge 
from Sir Bobby's appearance, is better left behind." 

It was not until 1847 tnat the third visit was made 
to Scotland, the route being by sea along the west 
coast with five warships in attendance. The Duke of 
Argyll, in his " Life of Queen Victoria," tells how on 
their way the Queen and Prince stopped at Inverary. 
As the old Duke had died recently and his son had 
broken up the Inverary establishment, the royally- 
imposed visit would have been a matter of consider- 


able difficulty had not the Duchess of Sutherland 
taken over a whole army of servants and given the 
deserted Castle the air of habitation, sending messages 
to all the country gentlemen, who arrived in Highland 
dress, and stood guard about the luncheon table. 
Fortunately, the visit only lasted two or three hours, 
and then the yacht, with its attendant vessels, went 
on its way. 

The destination this time was Ardverikie, and the 
last bit of the journey was made in carriages, which 
could not be driven over the Padtoch Water boat- 
bridge near Loch Laggan, so a carpet was laid down 
for the Queen's dainty feet, and Macpherson of Cluny, 
with three of his sons, followed by one hundred and 
sixty Highlanders, escorted her over. Cluny carried 
the shield borne by Prince Charles at Culloden, while 
the green flag of the Macphersons, which had been 
out in 1715 and 1745, waved behind him. But the 
impressive welcome was spoiled by the heavy rain, and 
the wild beauty of the Highlanders was tempered 
by the fact that they waved not only glittering blades, 
but cotton umbrellas. As the Queen also carried an 
umbrella with her own Royal hands, some wag com- 
memorated the event in the following lines : 

" Macpherson of Cluny and Tulloch, I feel for them ; 

They've drawn out their men like Castilian guerillas; 
To welcome their Prince and Queen such a sight ne'er was 

Highlanders ranked under cotton umbrellas. 

Highlanders, Highlanders, well have ye fought of yore, 

Led by the sound of your bagpipers' bellows ! 
Now for your tartans green, find ye a proper screen, 
Under your chiefs and your cotton umbrellas ! 


But ye had example set, under the heavy wet ; 

Didn't the Queen, as the newspapers tell us, 
Ay, and the Prince and train, land in the pouring rain, 
Under the shelter of ' goodly umbrellas. ' 

Wet Caledonia ! who wouldn't drown for thee? 

Are not your sons loyal, brave-hearted fellows? 
Keeping their powder dry, while with a smothered cry, 
Comes a damp welcome from under umbrellas. ' ' 

Ardverikie, the Lodge of the Marquis of Abercorn, 
was little more than a shooting box, and as a fairly 
large party accompanied the Queen, Prince Leiningen, 
the Duke and Duchess of Norfolk, Earl Grey, two 
Equerries and a Maid of Honour, some tents were 
taken, and an inn had to be pressed into service. Poor 
Earl Grey was an even worse sailor than Prince Albert, 
and he prayed hard to be excused, but as there was 
no other member of the Government at liberty, he had 
to submit to his fate. About the Prince's well-known 
tendency to sea-sickness the Observer had a foolish 
paragraph which was intended as serious news : " It 
has been stated that His Royal Highness suffered in 
this disagreeable respect (sea-sickness) to a far greater 
extent than Her Majesty, the fact being, that for only 
one day, when the weather was very bad, was either 
of these Royal personages sick. On this occasion 
there was complete sympathy, each having endured 
an equal amount of discomfort, but such as could be 
easily borne when it afforded the opportunity of wit- 
nessing so much loyalty and devotion from all classes 
of Her Majesty's subjects." 

One would commiserate the Queen-Prince upon 
being the subject of such an absurd paragraph, were 


it not that it seems to have been royally inspired; 
the style is distinctly that of the Queen, and she was 
always so anxious to defend her Prince that she some- 
times did it to an indiscreet extent, raising a laugh 
where she intended to gain admiration for him. She 
evidently agreed with the critic who asked : 

"What palace slave could adulate so well 
The Lord's Anointed, pitching in a swell." 

During their stay at Ardverikie one innovation was 
made; in place of special messengers arriving each 
day with despatches for Her Majesty, she took advan- 
tage of the ordinary post, and thereupon a great pother 
arose, for it was stated that the seals of several letters 
were found broken on arrival, other letters never 
reached their destination, some official documents 
were intercepted, and several letters to her attendants 
were so saturated with rain as to be illegible. The 
papers announced that a close investigation was being 
instituted, but the Caledonian Mercury, anxious to 
save the credit of its country, affirmed that the Post 
Office authorities knew nothing of the matter and that 
the whole story was false. 

In 1841 there had been a lively row over the open- 
ing of letters in the Post Office, and Tom Buncombe, 
"the grand jobman of miscellaneous grievances," had 
accused Sir James Graham, the Postmaster-General, 
of opening the letters of Mazzini during the Gari- 
baldian wars. Graham justified his action by custom 
and statistics, and Melbourne, talking over this, said 
he had signed warrants for opening O'Connell's letters 


and had urged Normanby to open those of the King 
of Hanover, but that he was afraid to do it. But 
why anyone should have wished to open the letters 
addressed to the Queen and members of her house- 
hold in Scotland it is not easy to judge. 

It is notable that later Prince Albert, when writing 
to the Prince of Prussia, desired that his letter should 
go by common post, as he did not object to the contents 
of the packet being known wherever it might be 

At Ardverikie it was more lonely than at Blair 
Athol, and the ways of the country were more primi- 
tive, so the cartoonists were again busy either report- 
ing or inventing amusements for Prince Albert, the 
curious thing being that they were constantly poking 
fun at him as an admirer of Scotch girls. One quite 
amusing scene and there were others of the same 
sort is more or less based on the Prince's wonder 
at seeing the bare-legged lassies. In it he and the 
Queen are stopping at the entrance to a building, 
where a " braw hielander " has just poured out a glass 
of liquid perhaps whiskey for Her Majesty, and 
respectfully stands, cap in one hand and bottle in 
the other, but watching the Prince with meaning grin, 
who with glass to his eye is bending down to see the 
pretty, bare-legged waitress disappear up some steps. 
Again, under the title of " Deer Sport in the High- 
lands," the Prince, in the centre of the picture, is 
chucking a country girl under the chin, while she 
laughs into his eyes, and his Scotch attendants stand 
round in high glee, saying : " Eh, sirs, but His 


Highness is ower keen at that sport." Of course, it 
needs very little fire to make a smoke, but really 
one wonders whether Albert did not sometimes 
allow himself at least to admire pretty women. 
There were, as I have indicated, whispers to that effect 
early in the reign, one being of a Countess Resterlitz, 
who was stopped at Calais when on her way to urge 
some past friendship upon the Prince; and another 
of a certain Countess penetrating even into Bucking- 
ham Palace as one of the Prince's old friends. 
Victoria regarded her as insane, and after that orders 
were given that Prince Albert should always be 
followed by some trusty person. Of course, these two 
Countesses may have been one and the same. 

Perhaps the Prince was as bored as the Queen with 
this Scotch visit, and tried to lighten it by noticing the 
village folk around; Victoria certainly wearied of 
Ardverikie. The weather was bad, and the scenery 
of the very boldest type, causing her to feel that the 
sublime could be improved if it were combined with 
a gentler beauty. However, her doctors vetoed her 
removal elsewhere on the score of the advantage to 
her health, so she stayed the intended time, and then 
started for home in the wettest weather that even 
Scotland could offer. 

It was while the yacht was off Campbeltown on its 
way home that the Queen acceded to a request made 
by a distiller, generally known as Long John, of Ben 
Nevis, to present the Prince of Wales with a cask of 
whiskey, which was to be kept at Buckingham Palace 
until he was of age. 


They steamed to Fleetwood Harbour, where they 
lay the night, going thence to Euston by train early 
the next morning. Of this an enterprising journalist 
in the Manchester Examiner wrote as follows : " The 
great, the eventful morning has passed. The Queen 

i has landed here. Fleetwood has been honoured beyond 
any other port in the North of England, and great 

i is its rejoicing thereat. The wharf of Ithe Preston 
and Wye Railway Company is the first spot on 
Lancashire soil on which Queen Victoria has set her 
foot, and for many a livelong day the inhabitants of that 
rapidly rising town will talk over the honour which 
was conferred upon them by our beloved Queen and 
recall the event of this memorable day. And yet 
those events were but of brief duration fascinating 
and dazzling, like an indistinct but happy dream, which, 
without leaving any marked impression of individual 
circumstance, diffuses over the whole man a sensation 
of happiness." 

The Times, that grave and dignified journal, had 
set all other papers an example of this sort when in 
1842 the Queen went North. It had a political purpose 
to serve in so doing, for it had been inimical to Her 
Majesty for so long that now, when a Protectionist 
Government was in, it tried to cover up its trail with 
the grossest of adulation. It published accounts and 
articles upon the journey to and fro which, to people 
not spoiled by circumstance, seemed very derogatory 
to the Queen's real dignity. It chronicled the journey 
of the greyhounds and terriers; it told how at 
Harwich a crowd gathered to see the Royal boat pass : 


" Foremost we distinguished a group of youthful chil- 
dren, who, having imbibed loyalty with their mother's 
milk, stretched out their little arms towards their 
beloved Sovereign and lisped a blessing upon her 
Royal head." Upon which an aristocratic bard, the 

Honourable (why did he not give his name?), 

wrote : 

" Oh, what a subject for disloyal squibs, 
Those infant courtiers slobbering in their bibs, 
And lisping- mindless chatterings that day, 
As the flash pageant wended on its way ; 
And well indeed, at that most childish sight 
Might babies crow and splutter with delight ! " 

The Times also told how " a simple fisherman, with 
a venerable bald head, held up a fine fish with both 
hands, as the only homage he had to offer the Queen ; 
this act was kindly acknowledged by Prince Albert," 
on which the bitter critic commented : 

"Albert acknowledged (but we are not told how 
Whether with half-a-guinea or a bow. 
The last most likely, as he's seldom rash, 
Except in buying parrots, with his cash)." 

The account of how the Prince saved many lives 
after landing is really comic. The Royal carriages 
were preceded and followed by those of many in- 
habitants, and at one point some horses in front took 
fright and wheeled round so that the coachman lost 
control of them. Upon which the intrepid Prince, 
" with great quickness and presence of mind, instantly 
called out to Her Majesty's postilions to stop; at 
the same moment four or five archers sprang forward 
and seized the horses' heads. By His Royal Highness's 


prompt orders, and the horses being stopped, many 
lives were saved " : 

" Calmly bold, of valour such the force is, 
He rose, and bade the postboy stop the horses." 

Great emphasis was laid upon a Sunday morning 
service held in the dining-room of the palace at 
Dalkeith, into which room was introduced "devo- 
tional chairs of oak with crimson velvet cushions," 
and at which the preacher took as his text : " O 
Jerusalem that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice 
with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the 
cities of Judah, behold your God ! " This text raised 
much comment among the quibblers, just as did a later 
sermon by a preacher at Liverpool, in which Albert was 
likened to Christ : 

"If it were needful, that to soothe her pride 
Our little Monarch should be deified, 
He might at least such blunders really vex 
Have paid some small attention to the sex. 
Goddess, not God, had been the proper name, 
Why to a male transfer the royal Dame ? 
He could not mean, a treason had been in't, 
By this mistake to delicately hint 
Our precious Queen was wont, as whisper some, 
To wear the ' inexpressibles ' at home ! ' ' 

Such over-praise reacts, not upon the person utter- 
ing it, but upon the unfortunate person about whom 
it is uttered, and sheds discredit, not glory. 

In the following September the Queen and Prince 
went to Balmoral, near Braemar, where they leased 
a little castle for six weeks. Of this place, Greville, 
who went down as Clerk of the Council in 1849, says 

R 2 


that the place was pretty, but the house very small. 
:t They live there without any state whatever ; they live 
not merely like private gentlefolk, but like very small 
gentlefolk, small house, small rooms, small establish- 
ment. There are no soldiers, and the whole guard of 
the Sovereign and the whole Royal Family is a single 
policeman who walks about the grounds to keep out 
impertinent intruders and improper characters. . . . 
They live with greatest simplicity and ease. The 
Prince shoots every morning, returns to luncheon, and 
then they walk and drive. The Queen is running in 
and out of the house all day long, and often goes about 
alone, walks into the cottages, and sits down and chats 
with the old women. I never before was in society 
with the Prince, or had any conversation with him. 
On Thursday morning John Russell and I were sitting 
together after breakfast when he came in and sat down 
with us, and we conversed for about three quarters of 
an hour. I was greatly struck with him. I saw at 
once (what I had always heard) that he was very in- 
telligent and highly educated, and, moreover, that 
he had a thoughtful mind, and thinks of subjects worth 
thinking about. He seemed very much at his ease, 
very gay, pleasant, and without the least stiffness or 
air of dignity." 

It was in Scotland that Sir Charles Lyell made much 
the same remark about the Prince, and there can be 
little doubt that his nature expanded and became 
simplified, and the hauteur in which he so often 
shrouded himself was banished when he was quite 
away from all pretensions of royal state. 

From a Print in Mr. A. M. Broadley's Collection. 


In 1852 Balmoral was purchased by the Prince, the 
old building pulled down, and an elaborate Castle built 
of granite after Jiis own design. Though the new 
house was quite suitable for a royal residence, there 
was still every attempt made to secure the old privacy. 
The etiquette on the public roads was not to see the 
Queen if you met her; you might slip out of sight or 
be admiring the view, but you might not raise your hat 
or bow. Not to know this, and to offend by offering 
a courtesy, was to receive anything but a courteous 
smile in return. 

It was also a grave offence to repeat any of the 
Castle doings, an offence which was, however, con- 
stantly committed. The following I found in the 
advertising columns of The Times, so that sur- 
reptitious enterprise even went so far as publishing a 

" The Balmoral Gazette arid Highland Herald pub- 
lished every morning during residence of Crown in 
Scotland, 2s. 6d. weekly. From local advantages and 
ready access to the surest sources of information, the 
contributors to this journal will be ready to furnish 
the earliest and most interesting intelligence of the 
Royal movements so far as they can interest the loyal 

How much the rule was evaded was also shown in 
The Puppet Show, which gave a cartoon, entitled 
" Royal Privacy in the Highlands " of the breakfast- 
table at Balmoral, round which the Queen, the Prince, 
and some children sit, while representatives of the 
Daily News, "Morning Herald, Morning Post, The 


Times, and others are hiding behind curtains, under 
tables, and in corners, all with notebooks in their hands. 
The picture is accompanied by a short article on the 
penny-a-liners who dogged Her Majesty from moun- 
tain to river, on the Mayors who waited at every port 
she passed eager to rush into her presence, and on the 
various other dull incidents likely to make weariness in 
her life. 

There are hundreds of stories about the Royal Family 
at Balmoral, but they have been chronicled so often 
that they need not be included here. I would rather 
turn to the incident of the indiscreet clergyman, who, 
desiring to curry favour with Royalty, disgraced the 
Prince by the most servile flattery, at Liverpool, when 
His Royal Highness went there in 1846 to lay the 
first stone of the Sailors' Home and to open the Albert 
Dock. This visit was followed by a sermon preached 
by Canon McNeile at St. Jude's, from the words, 
"Every eye shall see Him; or, Prince Albert's visit 
to Liverpool used in the illustration of the second 
coming of Christ" The first paragraph, which dis- 
played a fine mixture of the business instinct and 
exaggeration of sentiment, was as follows : 

"We have just witnessed a stirring scene; and, to 
all who will take the trouble of reflecting seriously, a 
very instructive one. A promise was held out to our 
great town that our eyes should behold the Prince; 
and what were the consequences? Preparations of 
every description, eager, animated, costly ; scaffoldings 
and stands erected; balconies strengthened; the 
ordinary occupations of life suspended; countless 


multitudes congregated; trades, professions, associa- 
tions with their appropriate emblems ; civic authorities 
bearing the badges of state; generals and admirals 
exhibiting the insignia of war ; consecrated ambassadors 
of the Gospel of Peace; the bridegroom from his 
chamber \ the bride out of her closet \ old men and 
maidens, young men and children all on tiptoe, with 
outstretched necks and eager eyes, to see THE PRINCE 
IN HIS BEAUTY; the Prince, the assessor, and, on this 
occasion, the manifestor of Royalty. It was a scene 
well calculated to illustrate and impress the great 
revealed truth, that the kingly office upon earth is at 
once an ordinance and an image of the authority and 
majesty of God." 

Thus did the preacher burnish up that poor tar- 
nished thing the right Divine, and asked his con- 
gregation to see in the pale and comely face of the 
good young Prince the shadow of the majesty of God. 
.When we think of Henry VIII., Charles II., and the 
Georges, do we still believe in the right divine? 
still think that there is a halo round the head of 
the sovereign which raises him or her into an inter- 
mediary position between God and man ? and, if so, 
does the same halo serve for all sovereigns, good or 

Mr. McNeile went further, for he said : 
"When I saw the universal movement; when I 
heard on every side the bustle of expectation; when I 
overheard on the right hand and on the left the burst- 
ing apostrophe, ' He is coming ! ' ' He is here ! ' / felt 
"dee-ply what it seems to have been the Apostle's great 


object to impress on the Christian Church with refer- 
ence to the SECOND COMING OF CHRIST. Behold He 
cometh, go ye out to meet Him ! Every eye shall see 
Him ! " 

Christ and Prince Albert! The Son of God 
coming in His glory to redeem mankind, and the 
starred and gartered husband of the Queen a sinful, 
erring man ! On the one hand, the great and awful 
day; on the other, a locomotive from London bring- 
ing Prince Albert and his attendants; and the clergy- 
man felt the same uplifting of the soul, the same fear 
and rapture, over the latter as he anticipated feeling 
at the second coming of Christ ! 

Is it wonderful that when clergymen can stand 
unabashed in their pulpits and deliver themselves of 
such frivolities they cannot number among their con- 
gregation the great mass of thoughtful people? I 
wish I knew what the Queen and the Prince thought 
of this sermon; for there at once would be a real 
illumination upon their characters. At least, they did 
not give the reverend Canon what he wanted, a 
Bishopric ! 

The Reverend Hugh McNeile thought so highly 
of his inspired address that he advertised it every- 
where as a pamphlet, and it raised universal indigna- 
tion in Church circles, being condemned as blasphemy. 
Said the Church of England Journal : " Every eye 
shall see Him ! See whom ? Does he mean Prince 
Albert or the LORD OF HEAVEN AND EARTH? Prince 
Albert and his equerries, or Christ and His angels?" 
The fame of the much-prolonged advertisement 


spread to our Colonies, and a Montreal paper 
reduced it to scorn by saying that it reminded them 
of the effective paragraphic style of patent medicine 

Mr. Hugh McNeile was surely one of the chief of 
sinners, whereas we may judge that those who wrote 
the inscription : " To the Glory of God, in Honour of 
the Queen ! " for the foundation-stone of Victoria Hall 
in 1842 were only stupid. 





IN addition to the constant sense of annoyance 
caused by the Queen-Prince's relations with Palmer- 
ston, and the uneasiness which the alternating friend- 
ship and friction between them and France brought 
about, there was a third trouble in the first decade of 
their lives together which gave them many a pang. 
This was the publicity given to their affairs by a 
man named Jasper Tomsett Judge, who in 1839 settled 
at Windsor, becoming Windsor correspondent of the 
Morning Herald and other papers. 

Being a strong Tory, his articles criticising the 
doings of the Whigs, "who filled nearly every nook 
and corner of the royal palace," gave offence to Queen 
Victoria, and in 1841, when she was in terror at the 
idea of losing Melbourne, either she or the Govern- 
ment tried to bribe Judge by the offer of a good ap- 
pointment to turn Whig, and by the offer of a sum of 
money to leave Windsor. Such an act was not like 
Melbourne, who troubled little about the papers, it 
was too crude ; but it came through George Anson and 
Edward Stanley, so perhaps Melbourne was over- 
persuaded by the Queen. 


Judge replied with the candour remarkable in 
extreme party men : that the Whigs were beneath con- 
tempt, had surrounded the Queen and the Prince 
Consort with needy minions to act as spies or advisers, 
and he would have nothing to do with such a set. 

At the end of a week the same gentleman called 
upon him again, and renewed the offers in more tempt- 
ing form. Again Judge refused, and from that time 
declared that he was persecuted by the creatures of 
Lord Melbourne in the Palace. 

However, at the General Election the Tory was suc- 
cessful over "the Court Candidate," and Judge 
asserted that the successful man was never forgiven 
by the Court. Then reason for his removal having 
disappeared, the pressman had a period of peace, was 
allowed to frequent the Castle, and get news for pub- 
lication from the secretary to the Master of the House- 
hold. When he could not get information, he attri- 
buted it to the malice of the Whigs. 

As a matter of fact, Judge played a fair game in the 
news he sent to the Herald, the Dispatch, and other 
papers, giving ordinary information in a respectful 
way. The public was informed that the Queen had 
been pleased to walk, and the Prince had been pleased 
to shoot, that their Royal Highnesses the Prince of 
Wales and the Princess Royal had driven in their 
new pony-carriage ; that the Duchess of Kent and her 
lady had come to dine, and that Sir Robert Peel had 
been granted an audience all the trifling little pro- 
gramme which it is supposed the world wishes to see. 
There was no interest in it, though it was sometimes 


made to meander down the greater part of a column. 
Perhaps idle people read it, and it pleased the Queen to 
know that her movements were of such importance 
to her subjects; it also helped to give Judge an 

Occasionally, and especially towards the end, Judge 
would let himself go anonymously in little articles and 
criticisms, and some extravagant diatribe would 
appear, such as the following upon an Investiture of 
the Bath. This article was unsigned, but only Judge 
could have written it in Britannia, and it was at a time 
when the trouble was nearing a crisis : 

" Civil Knights, Fiddlesticks ! for we really have 
scarcely common patience to dwell upon the sickening 
details of these wretched attempts to maintain in a 
civilised age the ostentatious ceremonial of feudal bar- 
barism. This stupid ostentation of the crimson velvet 
cushion, and the Gold Rod of Office, must appear 
particularly disgusting to the enlightened mind, and 
the whole description of the spectacle renders the 
Court very silly in the eyes of the public. . . . All this 
idle pomp and vain show produce nowadays a very 
different effect from what they did a quarter of a cen- 
tury ago ; they cease to dazzle and to blind the public 
vision with their brilliancy, but they set people thinking 
on these and other circumstances associated with the 
existence of monarchical institutions." 

This was a very different thing from the following 
which appeared in his Court Circular column, and 
which was calculated to please the public love of 
royalty : 


" The Prince of Wales and the Princess Royal and 
Princess Alice have been frequently taken out in the 
Parks and grounds adjacent to the Castle. The 
Princess Royal displays great intelligence, prettily 
bowing to any persons she meets on her excursions, 
and appearing to take pleasure in the recognition and 
acknowledgments of the town people." 

Every now and then some remarkable royal events 
were chronicled in the dailies as well as in the comic 
papers, such as that given one day under the heading 
of Latest Intelligence-. "The Queen and Prince 
Albert walked on Tuesday afternoon in the pleasure 
grounds of Osborne House " ; or these from the Court 
Circular : " Her Majesty was most graciously pleased 
during her stay at Windsor to enjoy most excellent 
health and spirits"; "Her Majesty attended by Vis- 
countess Jocelyn went riding in the park on two 
ponies"; "The Princess Royal and the Prince of 
Wales walked and rode on their ponies." Why did 
they ever go to see a circus ? 

This sort of thing tempted the flippant to jest, 
and under the heading " Court Circular " there was 
to be read one morning in a comic journal: "The 
Marmosets, pretty little dears, are in good health. 
The severe frost has not in any way injured the turtle- 
doves in the new dovecote. The tailless cats have 
been slightly affected owing to their having been 
indulged with a tete-a-tete on the Castle walls; the 
dormice are sleeping well, though they have not yet 
found their tails," etc. 

Lady Lyttelton says that Prince Albert was the first 


person to insist upon having an official Court Circular 
published, which he supervised, and the above 
slips must have somewhat enlivened the deadly de- 
scriptions of daily nothings which were sent to the 

When the Prince began to grapple with the problem of 
the economic misrule in the Castle, information of what 
was happening or of the dismissal of servants got into 
the papers as I have shown, and a man named Henry 
Saunders, Inspector of the Palace, was suspected of 
furnishing it. Judge, who had gone gleefully into the 
fray, and who, I imagine, had got the information he 
published from Saunders, wrote of the matter : 

''' This Whig busybody (Anson) brought a most foul 
charge against a Conservative gentleman holding a 
highly confidential appointment in the Queen's house- 
hold. The charge was fully investigated by the Board 
of Green Cloth and found to be wholly groundless. 
Still this man and his friends, the Whigs at Court, 
were permitted to play their fantastic tricks, and abso- 
lutely to ride rough-shod over the few honest Con- 
servatives left in the Royal palace." 

Saunders was, however, pensioned off with $oo 
a year. 

Judge further speaks of this " busybody " as having 
" absolutely the effrontery to announce that he had been 
selected by the Queen to put Her Majesty's affairs 
in order, and had the consummate impudence to go 
round to the Royal tradesmen and obtain an account 
of moneys owing by the department of the Lord 
Chamberlain a department with which he had no 


more to do than with the department of the First 
Lord of the Treasury." 

Peel was scarcely more beloved by Judge than was 
Melbourne, so Judge began to write a little book, 
describing the wicked way in which the Melbournites 
at Court treated the meek and good Conservatives, 
and the policy which Sir Robert Peel ought to follow 
in protecting them. This book, which was as badly 
treated as the Conservatives were supposed to be, 
was entitled : 



PART I. The Past. 
PART II. The Present. 

" What are such wretches ? What but vapours foul 
From Fens and Bogs, by royal beams exhaled, 
That radiance intercepting which should cheer 
The land at large ! Hence subjects' hearts grow cold, 
And frozen loyalty forgets to flow." 

The fame of Judge and his forthcoming pamphlet 
reached the politicians in London, and he was induced 
to show his work to the Conservative member, Ralph 
Neville, and under promises of reward was further 
induced by Lord Delawarr to suspend publication. 
As he was to get ,200 for the book, it was a hard 
favour to grant, but, relying on their words, he con- 
sented. He was evidently not a business man, or he 
would have set a price upon his consent. 

When Judge found out that George Anson and 
others at Court knew all about the matter, and that 


no fulfilment of the vague promises was intended, he 
wrote to Neville on the subject, and was abruptly 
informed that if he chose to leave Windsor he 
should receive a hundred pounds, otherwise he would 
get nothing. 

Up to this point Judge had been an obnoxious busy- 
body, reporting Palace happenings somewhat unneces- 
sarily ; though some such person must inevitably come 
to the fore when revolutions occur, as both sides will 
somehow find a mouthpiece. But the matter of the 
little book was ended unfairly, promises were made to 
the man which those who made them could not keep, 
and the opportunity of drawing his sting was not taken 
by those who stood behind the promises. It was 
neither an honourable nor a wise procedure. Judge 
felt that he had done, and had intended to do, service 
to the Tory Government; Neville acknowledged that 
the party was indebted to him, and Lord Delawarr 
seems to have given his opinion that in the matter 
of the publication advantage had been taken of him, 
but admitted that he had authority not to give any 
compensation to the writer. 

The Queen and the Prince unfortunately made this 
matter a personal one to themselves, as the end of 
the affair will show, and the only course they would 
sanction was the enforced clearance of Judge out of 
Windsor. Judge protested, making his charge against 
both political parties now : 

" I have not only been persecuted and vilified, and 
attempted to be ruined by the Whigs, but abused and 
insulted by the very party I so faithfully served. 


I have been offered 100 to slink away from 

Of course, he again refused the money and the 
move, and then, as the Prince would tolerate nothing 
less than the banishment of Judge, a Court official went 
to one of the most likely tradesmen in the town and 
asked him to be the agent in buying up all Judge's 
debts. But the Castle was not in favour with the 
town at that time, and a prompt refusal was returned 
to this suggestion. 

The insignificant journalist who, if diplomacy had 
been used, might have been made innocuous, won this 
battle, though with some loss, and was for years a 
very annoying enemy to royalty. It was a pity that 
Queen Victoria, when her dignity was offended, was 
too easily made angry, and was so extreme sometimes 
in her anger as to lose all sense of justice. 

This was true also of the Prince, who had a curious 
strain of hardness in his character, a hardness which 
he would show to his dearest as well as to delinquents. 
His mild amiability went hand-in-hand with a critical 
severity, and his warm, self-sacrificing love would 
suddenly change to painful coldness. Stockmar had 
so tutored him that his feeling of superiority was not 
an impression, it was the backbone of his character, 
and those of whom he judged ill he also judged as 
fit for nothing. No hint of this ever appears in the 
Queen's books, yet it was the inner secret of his power 
over her. She may have adored his goodness as much 
as her enthusiastic pen betrays, but she feared it too ; 
she believed in and bowed down before the superiority 



which he was certain was his. There is a picture of 
the Queen and Prince taken some time before he died, 
she seated and looking up at him with eyes of dog- 
like devotion, he gazing down at her, grave, a little 
sad, otherwise stolid and inexpressive. It was a true 
picture of their characters. As Duke Ernest of Coburg 
says of Albert in his Memoirs : " He often stood on 
the brink of ... allowing himself opinions and views 
which are wont to arise from contempt of mankind in 
the abstract," and that "he despised untruth and 
phrase-making and grew rough and positive in judg- 
ment." He was the usual two-in-one, only circum- 
stance had not so welded the two together as to make 
a complete and beautiful whole. He was loving, 
kind, and charitable, but also hard, critical, and 

It is not to be wondered at that such a man could 
not deal with one like Judge, a revolutionary Tory, 
hot in political principle, unscrupulous in practice, 
yet with a pride which prevented him from ever 
acknowledging defeat. To the Prince he was a worm, 
one of whom he personally would have felt justified 
in saying with the Irishman in the play, " There are 
some creatures you cannot crush, they lie so flat in 
the dirt." 

But Judge was not singular in his feelings towards 
the inhabitants of the Castle. All Windsor was in 
a state of grumble, and, when one considers some of 
the conditions of a Royal town, there seems to be as 
much penalty as profit about it. The Prince was being 
cordially disliked by the Royal borough for many 
reasons, for in his changes in the park and round the 


Castle he had not spared Windsor. Footpaths were 
diverted, and a road across the park was marked for 
disappearance. To secure greater privacy houses and 
buildings near the Castle had been pulled down, and 
j the land either absorbed or left idle, by which course 
the town lost rates to the value of from six hundred 
to eight hundred pounds a year. 1 

There was a Castle and Town quarrel about the 
drainage, which, though of a primitive character in the 
town, simply did not exist in the Castle, nor in the in- 
fantry and cavalry barracks near it. All the refuse from 
the Castle emptied itself into the first open ditch in 
the Long Walk, and that from the barracks was equally 
well arranged in other ditches conveniently close to 
the buildings. So the " Woods and Forests " drew up 
a scheme for putting these buildings on a safe sanitary 
system, estimating the cost at 17,000, of which the 
town, for the improvement in its drainage, was asked 
to pay 10,000. Expert engineers, however, came to 
the conclusion that the town would benefit to the 
amount of 4,750, and at a hot-tempered gather- 
ing of townsmen Windsor agreed to pay exactly 

It should be realised that though the country as a 
whole supports Royalty, it does not pay Royalty's 
rates, and Royalty does not pay them either. It is 
the shopkeeper in the street, the householder and 
cottager at the Palace gate, from whose meagre purses 
are drawn the poor rate and all the local rates, both for 
themselves and for the huge buildings in which live 
Royalty and all its servitors. 

1 Vide reports in London and provincial papers. 

S 2 


The want and distress of that dreadful time were 
responsible for many things good and bad, and among 
them were the waves of hatred of the Prince which 
occasionally shook the people. It was in the famine 
years, and the cartoons accentuated the differences 
between rich and poor ; Peel asleep in bed with a long 
line of ghosts of starved people filing past him; John 
Bull in miserable rags brought before the Queen, who 
wishes to relieve him with a slice from her huge loaf, 
while her children cry that she must not give away 
their bread, are examples. The Pup-pet Show gave 
one in which the great pensioned were casting their 
wealth into a cradle representing England ; the Duke of 
Wellington 27,000; the King of Hanover 21,000; 
Brougham 10,000; Queen Adelaide 100,000; Prince 
Albert 50,000; and the Queen 350,000. The mere 
mention of such sums made people gasp, and when 
they realised that public obligations demanded of 
themselves were not imposed upon Royalty, such as 
rates and taxes, local bitterness grew deeper. In the 
poor parish of Pimlico there were execrations over 
the fact that Buckingham Palace was free. I write 
of this because it must be recognised that Judge was 
doing in his way what hundreds of philanthropists, 
journalists, and others were also doing, they were 
blindly seeking some readjustment by which the rich 
gave more to the common fund, and by which the poor 
could at least live. The Royal pair being the most 
prominent people, were used as types, and exactly the 
same inquisitions went on in other counties about rich 
landowners. But Judge was different from his fellow- 


workmen in that he had a personal grudge against 
the Queen-Prince, though he never gave that feeling 
verbal expression. But there are more ways of showing 
a spite than by announcing it, and Judge's way was 
to keep a sharp eye upon the doings of the underlings 
of the Palace, and a smart pen ready with which 
to report them. 

Among the buildings repaired by Prince Albert was 
George III.'s Flemish Farm. He laid down a method 
for cultivating the land, bought stock to be specially 
treated, and made the farm a success. Little para- 
graphs constantly appeared to the effect that " Prince 
Albert won the second prize of 5 for a pen of pigs," 
" Prince Albert took first prize for the best two-year- 
old bull from the Berkshire Agricultural Association" 
(to which he gave 5 in subscription); he sold his 
prize cattle for 70 and 60 respectively; he took a 
prize of 20 for his ox and 3 for the best swede. 
Peel once in a speech praised the Prince for turning 
his attention to the promotion of agriculture, and 
asked a cheer for him as a British farmer, seeing the 
prices his stock fetched. I have always wondered how 
a man in such a position could condescend to compete 
with business farmers for prizes; for every advantage 
wealth could give was on his side, and he was bound 
to win ; to have proved that superior produce could be 
raised would have been honour enough. I fear the 
local farmers scarcely liked such a competitor, but it 
needed Jasper Judge to show how the matter could 
be turned to advantage. He pointed out to the Wind- 
sor Vestry that though the Prince was making money 


from the farm, he was paying no rates. The rates, at 
eightpence in the pound, would amount to fifteen 
pounds a year, and for this sum the Vestry sent in a 
demand. The Prince refused to pay on the grounds 
that he had no beneficial occupation, and that the pro- 
perty belonged to the Queen. At the discussion of 
vestrymen there seemed to be plenty of evidence to 
show that the sale of the produce of the farm brought 
in good profit, for not only were cattle and pigs being 
sold well, but turnips and mangel-wurzels. So a 
further application was made, and not replied to for 
several months, during which the Royal Farmer was 
consulting the legal authorities as to his responsibility. 
The lawyers agreed with him, and Anson eventually 
wrote denying in toto the Prince's legal obligation. 
The parochial authorities bowed to the law, and replied 
that under the circumstances they regretted the claim 
they had made, but they hoped, as the maintenance of 
the poor pressed so heavily on the parish, "that the 
Prince would take the state of the parish into his most 
gracious consideration." 

It was probably as much caution as unwillingness 
to lose money that caused Albert to refuse to pay rates 
on a farm which was used for commerce, .whatever 
may have been the idea in starting it, for the demand 
being withdrawn, the Prince wrote that he felt himself 
at liberty to take the course which was most satisfac- 
tory to himself, and to pay as a voluntary contribution 
a sum equal to that named, and that this payment 
should be made as from the year 1841. 

This " act of grace " was unfortunately followed by 


an incident arising from it which gave further handle 
to the critics, though it may be that the Prince was 
not directly responsible; for one in his position must 
leave much to subordinates. A man named Richard 
Webling, a worker on the Flemish farm, was pensioned 
at the age of seventy-two with five shillings a week. 
In 1846, some months after the affair of the rates, old 
Webling, then seventy-four, went for his money as 
usual, and was told that he need not come again, for 
the parish, having compelled His Royal Highness to 
pay poor rates, must for the future support him. The 
next week Webling went to the Guardians, and was 
given three shillings, with a promise of three loaves 
weekly. His wife had broken her leg three years 
before, and, having never regained the proper use of 
it, was unable to work, and the old couple had to pay 
half-a-crown a week to keep a roof over them. For 
all their other wants there was left sixpence and three 
loaves ; they had managed hardly enough with half-a- 
crown, now they could not exist. In such a case it is 
not surprising that the worn-out workman went to the 
one man in the town who had gained a reputation for 
championing the distressed, and it was equally to be 
expected that Judge would take up the case hotly. 
He drew up a memorial for Webling, exactly stating 
the facts, and sent it to the Prince's Secretary. After 
waiting some days in vain for an answer, Judge de- 
tailed the affair in the London papers, raising an un- 
pleasant amount of criticism; and at the end of three 
weeks the pension was restored. Presumably Prince 
Albert did not realise that while he was indulging in 


the luxury of considering the matter, starvation wasted 
no time, and there was necessity to act quickly. How- 
ever, the publicity given to the affair was another 
reason for hating Judge. 

There were other things, little to a Prince but tragic 
to a peasant, proving with horrible precision that the 
amusement of the rich is more precious than the lives 
of the workers; and Judge pounced upon them all, 
blazoned them to the world, and wrung justice from 
the hands of time-servers. 

One arose from the Prince's reverence for the Game 
Laws. He spent much time shooting, employed many 
keepers, and impressed them with a sense of the 
extreme importance of their work. These men were 
always on the watch for poachers, and used much in- 
genuity in devising traps, verbal or otherwise, by which 
culprits could be made to betray themselves. One of 
Prince Albert's gamekeepers trapped a man of between 
sixty and seventy, named Dean, trying to sell four 
pheasants and six pheasants' eggs. As it - was not 
pleasant to bring the Prince's name forward as a pro- 
secutor in a small affair like this, two County magis- 
trates heard the accusation in the Town Clerk's private 
office not 'in the usual Court room and sentenced 
Dean about whose offence there was no doubt to 
pay in fine and costs 10 us., or in default four 
months in Reading Gaol. Judge learned of the irre- 
gularity beforehand, and insisted on being present 
during the hearing of the case; and then, fired with 
compassion and disgust, reported the affair in The 
Times, the Morning Chronicle, the Morning Adver- 


tiser, and the Morning Post. Upon this a little whirl- 
wind of comment arose, for in truth, in spite of the 
way in which Queen Victoria took delight in reflecting 
that everyone thought so much of her " dearest 
master," Albert had by no means made himself 
popular, and folk like to feel justified in a prejudice. 
Mr. Collett, M.P. for Athlone, brought the matter 
before the House of Commons, and the same gentle- 
man paid the fine and got Dean released. Judge's own 
comment upon this runs : 

" The publicity which I thus gave to these oppres- 
sive proceedings, on the part of a man in the service 
of the Prince (His Royal Highness not escaping 
some severe animadversions for having such a person 
in his employ) gave great annoyance, I regret to hear, 
in the highest quarters." 

But he should have realised that the magistrates 
were more blameworthy for their severity than the 
gamekeeper, whose most important work in those days 
was recognised to be, not the care of game, but the 
detection of poachers. At that time gamekeepers had 
become the curse of the countryside. Most magis- 
trates were sportsmen, had an exaggerated idea of the 
sanctity of game, and would take a gamekeeper's word 
against that of all others. A gamekeeper could easily 
swear away an enemy's liberty, and commit acts of 
brutality and oppression without punishment. Many 
of them were callow youths, wanting in judgment and 
knowledge, and one such brought scandal again upon 
the Prince's name. A youth of nineteen found a 
woman, named Maria Wells, picking up dead sticks 


on a corner of Albert's land. He first shouted and then 
set his dog a young bloodhound upon her. The 
woman, who was expecting the birth of a child, had no 
chance at flight, and the dog knocked her down, biting 
her in the hip and back. 

Someone it may have been Judge persuaded 
Maria Wells to charge the young gamekeeper, and at 
the trial one reporter was present Judge, of course ! 
The magistrates wished him to withdraw, but he 
refused; then a delicate attempt was made to 
"negotiate" with him, and to find out what he would 
take to keep the matter out of the papers. " Not for 
five hundred pounds ! " was his curt answer. So he 
was present while the youth was fined two pounds and 
ten shillings costs ! 

Put the two cases side by side ! For four dead 
pheasants and six eggs, ten pounds; for a woman's 
health, sanity, and the life of her unborn child, two 
pounds ! She and her child were worth just a pheasant 
and an egg in the minds of these "most just judges." 
It was no wonder that Judge dwelt on the larger aspect 
of the case, and troubled little about the details, and 
so caused a correspondent from Windsor to write to 
The Times and accuse him of misrepresenting facts. 
For instance, he had not stated in his reports that the 
magistrate had urged that the young man did not 
set the dog, which also was only a young dog, on the 
woman from any motive of revenge, but because she 
was trespassing on property he was paid to protect. 
But what a damnatory accusation was such a plea ! 
It admitted at once the whole evil of the system; that 


revenge was regarded as a natural motive for such 
official assaults by gamekeepers, and that the poor 
were of so little value that they might not even gather 
the Castle's refuse ! Then, again, this virtuous corre- 
spondent grumbled because Judge did not report that 
the woman did not lie in bed from her fright and in- 
juries for more than a week. Now what a perfectly 
awful picture of the social standard of that day does 
this give us. A little time earlier Prince Albert when 
skating fell through some thin ice close to the shore 
and got partially wetted. It was repbrted in every 
paper with exclamatory horror, and the Queen was 
lauded as a heroine because she had the common sense 
to hold out a stick to him and help him to land, instead 
of running screaming away. But when a woman a 
human being just as real as the Royal couple was 
torn by one of the Prince's hounds, wilfully set upon 
her by one of the Prince's servants, a Windsor man 
indignantly complained that serious criticism of the 
matter was unjust because the injured woman did not 
lie in bed more than a week, and further contended 
that the gamekeeper was the person to be pitied, as 
in consequence of his mistake (!) he lost his 

Mr. Collett again came to the rescue, had full 
inquiries made, substantiated the charges, and gave 
Maria Wells five pounds to help her over her confine- 
ment. There is no record that Prince Albert com- 
pensated in any way this subject of the Crown for his 
man's brutality. 

The recurrence of little matters of this sort in and 


around Windsor kept alive in the district a bitter spirit 
of dislike for the Prince, which was accentuated by 
Albert's reserve and parsimony. He could not or 
would not atone in any personal way for the faults of 
his servants, either by sympathy or by money. Yet 
he could theorise about the working classes and work 
out ideas of reform, for when famine in the British 
Isles was at its height, the Prince could take the chair 
at a meeting of an Association for the Improvement 
of the Working Classes, make a most judicious speech, 
assume the patronage of the Society, and contribute 
to the funds needed to supply baths and wash-houses 
for the poor ! 

Game preserving has been responsible for more 
class hatred in England than all the agitators that ever 
lived and lectured, and Berkshire was dully angry witK 
the Prince's innovations in the sporting world. He 
forbade the destruction of either foxes or rabbits in 
Windsor Park, on the assumption that the rabbits were 
the natural food of the foxes, and that therefore his 
partridges and pheasants would not suffer; but the 
farmers knew that both animals were deadly pests to 
the crops and fowls around the park. Yet when the 
spirit moved him, the Prince shot rabbits in great 
numbers, which he sold to a contractor at Egham. 
Punch, comparing him with Prince Hal in his wild- 
oat days, was satiric upon the Prince's constant amuse- 
ment of shooting : 

" He rose up to breakfast and shoot and he came 
home to lunch. His life apparently had no better aim 
than the bearing of his fowling-piece and rifle. He 


could bring down a stag indeed at a long range, and 
knock over partridges and pheasants right and left. 
But he was only great in a battue" 

A further matter which produced both indignation 
and laughter in Windsor was a plan for removing the 
town to a greater distance from the Castle, as " the 
only effective means for improving the Royal residence 
and its vicinity." 

The pulling down of houses, the diversion of paths, 
the raising of fences, by which any near view of the 
Castle from the park was prevented, the unending 
attempts of the Prince to secure an abnormal privacy, 
had built up a belief that he would only be happy in 
an absolute solitude. Thus a firm of architects, 
Messrs. Kyle and Kerle, of Carlton Chambers, Regent 
Street, drew up a pamphlet addressed to Her Majesty's 
Commissioner of Works, entitled " The Outline of a 
proposed Plan for Building New Towns at Windsor 
and Eton : in order completely to improve the Castle 
and Parks." The necessity for this was given in the 
following sentence : " Windsor Castle and Parks, 
penetrated and intersected by thoroughfares from the 
town, bear, in their general appearance alone, the 
royal character ; in their minute features not even pos- 
sessing the advantages of some neighbouring resi- 

The hill was to be cleared of buildings to its very 
base, the parks extended, only one public road to run 
across at such a distance that it could offer no in- 
convenience to sacred Royalty. Further, all that 


portion of the town east of the Long Walk and 
the Hundred Steps and between the New Staines 
Road and the river would become private to Her 

Messrs. Kyle and Kerle seemed to think blandly 
that the Crown would lend would purchase would 
make up the deficiency and that the national feeling 
in the town and elsewhere would do the rest. What 
confiding innocents ! 

One sentence is worth quoting for its mixed 
metaphors : " One argument, above all, cannot be 
resisted in conclusion the great and unrivalled monu- 
ment which the erection of both towns would be to Her 
Majesty, when Eton, taking Windsor by the hand, 
inscribed on their joint structure the Record of a 
people's love" There would be certainly something 
original about putting an inscription on a joint knuckle 
or fist. 

This precious scheme was sent round to the news- 
papers and all people in authority; it was commented 
on here and there, and promises of subscriptions were 
secured, seemingly to the extent of 250,000. But 
that was the end of it, excepting for a soreness in the 
minds of timid Windsorites, who could never be sure 
that the first promptings of such an idea had not come 
from Royalty. 

When there was an effort made to buy Shakespeare's 
birthplace for the public, it met with no response at 
first, and the following letter was sent to the editor 
of one of the weeklies : 



Suffer me through the medium of your journal to ask 
the public to 

Look upon this Picture And on This. 

For the proposed removal of For purchasing- the house in 

houses at Windsor, more out -which was born the greatest 

of the whiff and wind of poet England or the World 

royalty, and for otherwise im- ever had, 
proving the Windsor estate, 

250,000. ooo (or nothing). 


But Judge committed more serious offences than 
that of championing the oppressed. He wrote little 
books with such suggestive titles as : " Court Job- 
bery"; "Sketches of Her Majesty's Household"; 
" Royal Correspondence, being Letters between the 
Queen and Louis Philippe (1848)"; "A Voice from 
Windsor"; "A Handbook to the New Royal Stables 
and Riding House at Windsor Castle " ; " An Act of 
the People's Parliament"; "The Court and the 
Press"; and the last one, "The Royal Etchings," 
published by William Strange, Junior, was, as it were, 
the end of the affair of Jasper Tomsett Judge and the 
Royal castle. 

The second of these books gave a list of salaries 
paid to servants, and told many interesting secrets. 
Thus while the Dean of the Chapel Royal received 
200 a year, the Surveyor of Pictures 150, and the 
Principal Painter-in-Ordinary (for a time Sir Thomas 
Lawrence) was given 50; two of the kitchen men, 
the clerk and the chief cook, had 700 each, the 
master cook had 350, with permission to take appren- 


tices at a premium of from 150 to .200; one con- 
fectioner had 300, and two others 250 each. Eng- 
land's Admirals and Generals did not receive so much 
as the Queen's cook, and many well-educated gentle- 
men were poorer than the royal chimney-sweeper, who 
was given 150 a year. In the early 'forties, too, 
out of the 1,200 a year allotted to the Queen as 
pension money, six lucky individuals who had at some 
time taught Princess Victoria Italian or music or 
singing or French, etc., received 100 a year each. 
Baroness Lehzen took 400, but probably from the 
Privy Purse. 

It is easy to imagine how very angry the Queen 
would be over such an expose of her domestic arrange- 
ments, especially as the Press wrote widely of it, 
spreading the information far and near. 

Another of Judge's publications, "An Act of the 
People's Parliament," had a sub-title which quite 
sufficiently explained its contents. It ran, " For the 
reduction of Her Majesty's Civil List, and for pro- 
moting the welfare and prosperity of the People of 
the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, by 
the reduction of Her Majesty's allowance of 385,000 
to 200,000 per annum in conformity with the recom- 
mendations of the Liverpool Financial Reform 

These little books produced deep rancour at Court, 
and the "Sketches" were probably responsible for 
what followed. To the Prince, with his German 
training, it was a dreadful idea that a man of this sort 
could not be summarily imprisoned, or at least pre- 


vented from publishing such books, and he was eager 
to get rid of Jasper by hook or by crook. Men have 
been imprisoned in Germany during the last few years 
for saying and doing things which were trivial com- 
pared with those boldly said by Judge. I must, how- 
ever, that affairs may be understood, make a digression 
concerning one of the amusements of the Queen and 
the Prince. 

After their marriage, Prince Albert initiated the 
Queen into the mystery and delights of etching, and 
they often together followed this pleasant diversion. 
Miss Skerritt, the Queen's wardrobe woman, whom 
Lady Eastlake for some reason designated as the 
" original" of the Court, being required to )do the 
"biting" of the drawings. The Queen-Prince drew 
their dogs, their children, the landscapes, the houses, 
and it goes without saying that anyone who could 
secure a specimen of their work valued it highly. The 
etchings by the Prince I do not know, but I saw several 
of those by the Queen in Mr. Broadley's portfolios, one 
of which is reproduced here. The two little figures 
are well drawn, though there is an echo of the Queen's 
personality in the way that the subject is handled 
* no suggestion, no idealism, no real artistry, 
just what was there to be seen by the physical 

These etchings were discussed, as all royal accom- 
plishments are discussed; people liked to know that 
their Queen and her husband were clever enough to 
produce such things. Judge several times made them 
the subject of admiring notes in the Morning Herald, 


the Weekly Dispatch, Britannia, and other journals, 
and several of the etchings were reproduced in the 
papers, no annoyance being shown at the friendly 
mention of them. 

On September 7th, 1848, an announcement appeared 
in The Times, and in other London and provincial 
papers, that a collection of about one hundred etchings 
by Her Majesty and Prince Albert had been made. 
" We understand that this perfectly unique collection 
will shortly be exhibited to the public, and thus enable 
the whole nation to form an opinion of Her Majesty's 
and the Prince Consort's great merits in a branch of 
the fine arts in which it is so difficult to excel. That 
both the Queen and the Prince rank very high in this 
department of art, their united and separate produc- 
tions most amply testify." 

This announcement is to be attributed to Judge. 
He may have had some doubts about the Queen's 
approbation of his scheme of holding an exhibition, 
but as no notice of The Times paragraph was taken 
by the Court, he thought it was safe ; so he made out 
a catalogue, had it printed by William Strange, of 
Paternoster Row, and sent a copy to Her Majesty and 
one to Prince Albert. 

Judge should have asked permission to form the 
exhibition first, but in spite of his conservatism he 
was a strong democrat, the etchings were his property, 
and he did not realise that a right in the actual drawings 
remained with the artists. The catalogues were, how- 
ever, sent before steps were taken to form the ex- 
hibition, and both Judge and Strange seemed to think 


that if any Royal dislike to the plan existed, they 
would be duly informed. 

The Queen and the Prince did object strongly, but 
they did not say so in any ordinary way ; and we have 
here in some sense a new version of the Lady Flora 
Hastings affair. For a week after receiving the cata- 
logues no sign was made, probably advice was being 
taken and plans laid; then the impulsiveness which 
had characterised the early lamentable mistake, 
strengthened by the Prince's hardness, impetuously 
swept away any thought of justice, and ended in 
devastating two families, banishing Strange from 
England, and breaking the man whom the 'Queen- 
Prince regarded as their enemy. 

The Royal pair were no judges of character, and 
they did not stop to think that a man who had always 
shown himself above bribery would never consent to 
insignificant peculation, they also did not realise that 
the injustice shown to Judge in the matter of the 
pamphlet, and the injudicious attempts at bribery and 
banishment, were the cause of his rancour against them. 
They just saw their chance of smashing an annoying 
subject and they took it. 

On a Tuesday, exactly seven days after the cata- 
logue had been sent to the Queen, her solicitor called 
at Strange's office, and there learnt from his son 
:hat Strange had gone to Yorkshire to take benefit 
from the baths, as he was in ill-health. The son 
undertook to write to his father, and the solicitor, a 
Vtr. White, arranged to wait for the reply. Young 
Strange communicated with Judg;e, who told him to 

T 2 


make no secret of the fact that he was the author of 
the catalogue. 

White consulted with those who represented his 
employers, and the very next day, without any further 
word to the Stranges, or any communication with 
Judge, took all the steps for a case in Chancery. By the 
Friday the information of the Attorney-General acting 
for Her Majesty, and the Bill of the real complainant, 
Prince Albert, were drawn up, engrossed and put upon 
the file of the Court, as well as affidavits in support 
of the information and the Bill, these last being sworn 
to by Prince Albert, George Anson, and White the 
solicitor. Injunctions and affidavits were obtained to 
restrain the publisher from publishing the catalogue 
or holding the exhibition; instruction was given to 
counsel, and an absolutely unnecessary case set in 
motion. After White's visit he made no other to 
Strange's office, the first thing the defendants knew 
of the matter was that they were, without option, in- 
volved in a long and expensive lawsuit, one which, 
by the position of the prosecutors, was already pre- 

Prince Albert rested his case on the fact that the 
etchings were made for private use, that when they 
were printed it was upon a private press, that the plates 
were kept locked up by Her Majesty in order to 
prevent them becoming public, though some copies 
were occasionally left about the Queen's private apart- 
ments, and sometimes given to friends, and that, 
therefore, no such collection could possibly have been 
made excepting by a person who had stolen them him- 


self or through some other person. His extremely 
long affidavit says that he first heard of the collection 
pn the day the catalogue was received, and that such 
^n exhibition was in the highest degree offensive to the 
Queen and himself. 

If Prince Albert, on receipt of the catalogue, had 
nstructed George Anson to write to Strange and forbid 
.he exhibition, that would have been the end of the 
matter, but he took this extraordinary course of setting 
n motion the most unwieldy form of English law that 
tie might get even with a man who was obnoxious to 
lim, without giving him a chance of defence, this alarm- 
ng affidavit being sworn to nine days only after the 
catalogue had been received. 

Then the weary case began, affidavits and informa- 
:ions were added to and amended, until there were 
f io fewer than twenty-four of them, copies of all of 
tfhich the three defendants they had included 
fudge's son that the revenge might be complete 
lad to secure at great cost. 

J. A. F. Judge, the son, had translated the letters 

Between Victoria and Louis Philippe, so the lawyer 

nade an affidavit to the effect that he believed he 

vas also a writer, and on this supposition alone he 

ncluded the young man's name. As a matter of fact, 

'oung Judge had been for ten years in Boulogne, first 

t school and then as an apprentice to a chemist, from 

Ivhich he had returned only a few months earlier. 

^The case against him was eventually quietly with- 

rawn, there being not the shadow of evidence against 

im, but that was not done until he had been made 


responsible for costs to the extent of nearly two 
hundred pounds. 

Sentiment was against Judge. The papers spoke 
of a young and lovely Queen being constantly annoyed 
by a cantankerous pressman, and asserted that no fate 
was too bad for him. On the other hand, the evidence 
was for Judge, but all the evidence was not always 
published, and from the first Judge was popularly 
regarded as too despicable for it to matter what became 
of him. The Prince had branded him a thief, and 
a thief he was. 

Judge based his defence upon three facts : that the 
etchings were not printed at a private press, but at 
various times between 1 840 and 1 847 at a public print- 
ing press in the heart of the town of Windsor; that 
the copper plates were not always kept locked up by 
Her Majesty; and that these etchings were not taken 
surreptitiously from the Queen's private apartments, 
for they had never been within some hundred yards 
of the Royal residence. 

The Prince, however, asserted that : " We had a 
private printing press, from which we occasionally 
printed impressions of the etchings, and the plates 
were and are kept locked up by Her Majesty in order 
to prevent the same becoming public." 

This implied that the plates were never out of the 
Royal possession. Subsequently Albert remembered 
that some of the plates were once sent to a printer 
named Brown, but that the plates and all the impres- 
sions were returned, and that that was the only time 
any of the plates were out of the Royal Palace. 


Had the Prince really forgotten, or did he not know 
what was done in the Palace ? Various witnesses were 
drawn from the printing offices of Mr. Brown, proving 
that for seven years etchings were sent to the press 
there to be taken off. Judge affirmed that Miss 
Skerritt, Sir George Hayter, the Police-Sergeant- 
Footman, and half-a-dozen other footmen, knew this, 
but none of them was called as witness. Two 
printers, named respectively Whittington and Middle- 
ton, gave evidence, that the latter being a copper-plate 
pressman, did from time to time take off impressions 
of plates from Windsor Castle. Mr. Brown gave him 
a correct amount of print paper, all of which was re- 
turned engraved, but it was shown that it was the 
custom for the first copy or so to be taken off on 
common paper, as they were worthless, and also that 
Middleton habitually took off copies for himself on card 
or common paper. By this means Middleton secured 
about a hundred and thirty of these etchings, some 
being first prints which had been thrown away and 
trampled under foot. He made no secret of possess- 
ing them, showed them to many people, and asked 
Judge if he would not buy them. That gentleman 
offered him fifty shillings, which was refused. Later 
young Judge came home, and hearing casually about 
these pictures, thought he would like to see them. So 
he and his father went to Middleton's house, and saw 
I the not over-clean collection pasted in a little album. 
| For this Judge bitterly and with justice complained 
j that the young man was put into the Court of Chancery, 
accused of robbing the Queen's Palace, made a 


defendant in two suits, had two injunctions as well as 
a Bill filed against him by the Prince Consort, and so, 
at the age of twenty-two, had come home to start life 
in England with a blackened character. 

Some time after the visit to Middleton, Judge, 
probably hoping to gain something by the transaction, 
gave Middleton five pounds for a large number of 
the etchings. Then arose the idea of the exhibition, 
and Judge asserted that, " Everything that we con- 
templated doing and hoped to accomplish was based 
wholly upon obtaining the permission of the Queen ; " 
that "no catalogues were sold, or intended to be 
sold, without the Queen's leave." 

There was plenty of evidence to show that Middle- 
ton had the prints as he stated, and there was no doubt 
that Judge had bought them from him. Whether he 
had also been given any by the servants at the Palace 
at the time when he went there daily as the accredited 
news reporter is not shown, but the case produced no 
evidence that he had stolen them, though there was 
plenty to prove that he had caused much annoyance to 
the Queen by giving publicity to Windsor matters. 

Then the case against Judge changed into a demand 
that he should give up the pictures. This, in accord- 
ance with his character, he refused. He had bought 
them fairly and they were his; he would undertake 
not to publish them, but considered that he had his 
rights as well as Prince Albert. 

Strange's costs came to upwards of -700, an execu- 
tion being put upon his premises for 200, for he 
had first resisted the injunction, and then appealed; 


thus his costs mounted up, so having lost his busi- 
ness, and, as he said, fearing further persecution, he 
went abroad. 

At a certain stage of the proceedings Judge pleaded 
in forma pauperis, which reduced his costs to some- 
thing like ;i8o. 

The case ended, there was no punishment to be 
allotted other than imprisonment if the fine and costs 
were not paid, and Mr. and Mrs. Judge were left to 
face the problem of how to find the money. Mrs. 
Judge had common sense and an independence of mind 
which allowed her to say openly the things she thought. 
She had already taken action on behalf of her son, 
her sense of justice deciding that those who had 
brought so grave a charge so wantonly against the 
young man were the real debtors in his case. So she 
wrote a straightforward letter to the Queen. It had 
been constantly asserted during the trial that in this 
case Her Majesty wished to be regarded as a private 
lady, and not as the Sovereign of the Realm, but when 
it came to paying this was forgotten, by all but Mrs. 
Judge. For a Sovereign is exempt from law costs, and 
the other side has to pay both for hi-s King or Queen 
and himself. Mrs. Judge pointed out that had 
Her Majesty been a private lady she would have 
been obliged, on withdrawing a charge against a 
person she knew to be innocent, to pay the costs, but 
that as in spite of her desire to act as a private lady 
she was really the Queen, this lad, admittedly inno- 
cent of all false charges, was called upon to pay. 
She continued':! 


" It is your Majesty's high privilege, even under 
such circumstances, to be exempt from the payment of 
costs. I venture, very firmly, to expostulate with your 
Majesty's advisers, upon placing your Majesty in such 
a position. It is not a position your Majesty ought 
to be induced to assume. That c the Sovereign is the 
Fountain of Honour' is fully admitted. I trust I 
may venture to hope, in the cases both of my husband 
and of my son, I may find that your Majesty is the 
Fountain of Justice." 

To this the lawyer sent a curt answer to the effect 
that Colonel Phipps had transmitted to him a letter 
" appearing to be written by you." 

Mrs. Judge at once wrote both to White and to 
Colonel Phipps, saying that the letter was certainly 
written by her, and that she hoped it would be laid 
before the Queen. 

Ultimately the son's costs were paid by the order 
of Prince Albert. 

At the end of January, 1849, I find Judge sayings 
" If Her Majesty and Prince Albert send me to prison 
for costs, and my wife and children to a workhouse 
for food, we must endeavour to bear our afflictions with 
patient endurance." 

For want of his costs he did go to prison, and 
remained there until the autumn, when, through the 
insistence of his wife, the sum of .180 was paid by 
the Queen and Prince Albert. The letter from 
Mr. Anson to Mrs. Judge is somewhat curious, 
as it indicates the real reason for the trial of 
Judge : 


For many years it has been the unremitting efforts 
of your husband "to inflict every possible injury upon 
Her Majesty, the Prince, their family and the Court; 
by a system of espionage into, misrepresentation and 
vilifying of, all the acts of their private life; you will 
be the best judge whether he deserves such a boon 
at their hands. Nevertheless, it is repugnant to the 
feelings of Her Majesty and His Royal Highness 
that innocent people like yourself and children should 
suffer in a cause with which their names are in any 
way connected, and I am commanded to forward to you 
a cheque for ,180, with which you may pay your 
husband's costs, and extricate him from prison; and 
may he in future support his family by a more honour- 
able industry." 

Punch called this killing a wasp by dropping oil upon 
it, but it is a pity that the drop of oil had not fallen 
several years earlier. 

Judge wrote a full account of all that had happened 
concerning the etchings, which was published as a 
small book. The Windsor booksellers received hints 
not to offer this for sale, and most strenuous efforts 
were made by agents of the Castle to buy up every 
copy, as well as copies of all Judge's other little books, 
which were thus put out of circulation. Naturally some 
copies of these were missed, and are to be found here 
and there, but I imagine that no public library in the 
Kingdom could produce among its volumes a book bear- 
ing upon it the name of Jasper Judge. I have seen two 
in a private library, and two anonymous productions 
are in the British Museum, though from the way they 


are catalogued it seems that the authorities do not 
know the name of the author. 

The mystery of the private press was never publicly 
cleared up. That the Queen possessed one could not 
be doubted, but it seems to have been little used 
during several years. 

It was an ignoble quarrel upon small matters. Judge 
was a cantankerous grumbler, a man who saw evil in 
things done by the high and rich which he probably 
would not have given a second thought to if done in 
a like proportion by humbler people. He was a man 
who must have a grievance. On the other hand, the 
Queen and Prince treated him in a childlike, unwise 
way at first, raising a fierce pride and resentment, 
being too blinded by their own high position to believe 
that a poor journalist might not be guided by reverence 
for them. And so they were hurt, and he was hurt, and 
the country had the spectacle of their ruler going to 
law on a frivolous pretext to crush a fly. As in the 
Queen's Diaries, recently published, the Lady Flora 
Hastings affair is ignored, so in the long " Life " of 
the Prince Consort the whole Judge affair is also 
ignored. Kings can do no wrong. 



To the rich much shall be given, but yet more is 
likely to be bestowed upon the powerful; thus to 
Queen Victoria, especially in the early part of her reign, 
came an accumulation of presents which might well 
have frightened anyone with less chance of dispersing 
them into places of safety. From a jewel to a tiger, from 
a parasol to a char-a-banc, they ranged, and the Queen 
was often at a loss to know what to do with them, or 
how most graciously to thank the donors for gifts which 
she would rather have been without. 

Space forbids the mention of all, but some had a 
touch of unconscious humour about them. Thus from 
the Imaun of Muscat came Arabian ponies with an 
entreaty that the Great Queen would not disturb his 
little slave trade, which was very necessary to the 
prosperity of his finances. " Surely she, being pos- 
sessed of such great wealth and extent of dominions 
would not grudge an inferior ruler his trifling profits 
on the only produce of his dominions which he could 
turn to advantage ! " 

With the same intent of bribery came from the 



Court of Shoa in South Abyssinia a museum of articles, 
a jet black mule with wonderful trappings, a crown 
worn by a former Queen of Shoa, shields ornamented 
with gold, silver and precious stones, spears, gauntlets, 
cloaks, and robes made of the skins of wild animals, 
solid silver armlets, badges, and baskets. 

The Emperor of China, among other things, sent 
Victoria a gold bedstead ; and some detestable person 
at Portsmouth made her a table from the coffin which, 
as the Royal George, went down 

"With twice four hundred men." 

Victoria, with a lamentable lack of imagination, was 
quite excited and pleased over this last, ordering the 
packages to be opened in the presence of herself and 
the Prince as soon as they arrived. 

From Russia came furs, diamonds, carriages, and 
the ugly Malachite vase still to be seen at Windsor; 
from the Channel Isles cows, fruit and vegetables ; from 
other parts of the world tigers, jaguars, marmosets, 
Spanish horses, Mexican pheasants; from Isleworth 
a pumpkin weighing one hundred and forty pounds; 
from Louis Philippe, as a peace offering, a great 
St. Bernard, which promptly bit the Queen's arm, 
drawing blood, when she stroked it ; from India came 
a Cashmere sheepdog of a most ferocious kind; from 
America flour and smoked delicacies, begging for a 
return in substantial orders. 

A gift from Bristol testified to the real business 
capacity of a bird-fancier, who sent a parrot to the 
Queen. Poll was too shy on her arrival at Court to 


speak, but when Victoria, "struck with the beautiful 
plumage and fine symmetry of the newly arrived guest, 
entered, with great condescension, into conversation 
with her," Poll's shyness wore off, and she suddenly 
screamed : " If you don't send twenty pounds I'll go 

The Queen sent the twenty pounds : " an induce- 
ment to all teachers to impart profitable instruction 
to their pupils." 

The Koh-i-noor was presented in 1850 by the 
Directors of the East India Company, as it " had ever 
been a symbol of conquest," and it had been taken from 
the conquered Lahore state ; while a crabbed old miser 
named Neild, for the sake of notoriety, left Victoria 
a fortune of ,250,000 in 1852, which she refused to 
accept until she knew that there were no relatives who 
should have had it. 

It may seem curious that fierce brutes of all kinds 
should be sent as gifts to a young Queen, but the fact 
was that Victoria had acquired such a reputation for 
liking animals that everyone believed that no beast, 
however ferocious, would be unwelcome. 

In 1839 she gained renown by going frequently to 
Drury Lane, where Van Amburgh exhibited perform- 
ing lions, and Lord Broughton tells in his " Recollec- 
tions " how, after the show, she went close to the tiger, 
and the brute made a spring at her that nearly over- 
turned his cage, but Her Majesty did not move a 
muscle nor did she show the slightest sign of fear. 

In 1841 Van Amburgh was so favoured by the 
Queen that he was a greater financial success than 


Macready; and she was so pleased with the spectacle 
of the cowed lions, brutal though it was, that she 
commanded Landseer to paint a portrait of Van 
Amburgh and his beasts upon yards of canvas to 
add to the Royal collection. Whenever Astley or 
Wombwell was within reach, the Royal children were 
taken to see them, and several times Wombwell was 
commanded to Windsor to exhibit his animals in the 
Royal quadrangle. Another animal wonder was a 
learned horse which came to Windsor to show its 
cleverness, and an exceptionally great dog was com- 
manded to appear before the Court, to be fondled 
and photographed. 

Some laughed at the taste in amusements shown 
by the Royal pair, and some grieved, for the theatres 
began to be neglected. The Prince could not keep 
awake through the late performance, and when he did 
go out he preferred music, so for years they went 
very occasionally to the German or Italian Opera or 
the French play, but scarcely ever to the English 
drama. English singers and English actors gradually 
fell out of the ranks, and some of the theatres were 
shut or turned into wild-beast shows. Appeals such 
as the following were made to Victoria through the 
columns of the papers, but with little effect : 

"Wherever the 'most illustrious lady' of the land 
goes her Court will go ; and wherever the Court goes 
the world will follow. So that a kind example in one 
quarter is all that is necessary to give an impetus to 
our native talent. Surely the admiring hosts that flock 
to see a Rachael, a Bouffet, or a Grisi, might take some 


pride in fostering the talents of their countrymen. . , . 
It is a melancholy fact that the walls of our national 
theatres are deserted." 

Punch was by turns bitter and humorous, telling in 
its fictitious "Court Circular" that Her Majesty and 
His Royal Highness had honoured this or that theatre, 
when " Better Late than Never " or " The Illustrious 
Stranger," "She's Come at Last," "An Agreeable 
Surprise," "Are You Sure 'tis She?" and other plays 
with such suggestive titles had been acted. 

Quips upon the loss of popularity which one William 
Shakespeare had sustained were constantly appearing, 
such as " I beg your pardon, sir, but could you 
inform me of any theatre where Shakespeare is per- 

" Pm afraid you may think the distance incon- 
venient, but New York is the nearest place I can 

And when an attempt was made to stage a Shake- 
spearean play, the Queen was reminded of his exist- 
ence in such announcements as : " To an illustrious 
Lady. Persons desirous of becoming acquainted with 
Mr. William Shakespeare may frequently have the 
pleasure of seeing that gentleman at Sadlers' Wells." 
When it was decided that Shakespeare's house at 
Stratford was to go to the hammer, great efforts were 
nade by literary men in London to get up a subscrip- 
:ion to buy it for the country. The Queen and 
'rince were approached, but it was not until the list 
f subscribers included many influential names that 
:he latter consented to recognise the scheme by 



becoming its Patron and giving ,250 towards the 

Yet, awakened by public comment, there came a 
time when the Queen was eager to prove that she 
enjoyed Shakespeare's plays, and had weekly per- 
formances of them at Windsor. 

Occasionally, too, the Prince showed interest in some 
particular English play, as when in 1845 a private 
performance was given of Jonson's " Every Man in 
his Humour." The caste included Henry Mayhew, 
John Forster, Mark Lemon, Charles Dickens, Douglas 
Jerrold, John Leech, Dudley Costelloe, Percival Leigh, 
Frank Stone, and Miss Fortescue, an assemblage of 
writers and artists then rapidly becoming famous. The 
Prince was anxious to see this, and as it was being 
repeated for the benefit of a sanatorium he and a 
brilliant assembly were present. 

As years passed the Queen-Prince grew much more 
favourable to English drama, and in January, 1853, 
I find Mrs. Cowden Clarke writing to her father-in- 
law : " Your royal Douglas is to appear in Royal 
Presence this week; I hear that next Friday his new 
comedy is to be played for the first time in the Rubens 
Room at Windsor. This is a delightful and most 
due honour, is it not?" The play, St. Cupid: or 
Dorothy's Fortune, which was thus produced at 
Windsor, began its run at the Princess's on the 
following night. 

The Prince's love for music was very sincere, and 
it was not perhaps unnatural that German musicians 
were preferred before all others, though the favourites 


were Mario, Grisi, Tamburini, Lablache, Jenny Lind, 
etc., and it is not to be wondered at that this made 
people say that he loved a German organ-grinder better 
than an English singer. 

Mendelssohn being in England, was commanded 
to the Palace in June, 1844, and as the story of the 
way in which he played for the Queen and she sang 
to him is well known, it need not be repeated here. 

Popular opinion humorously affirmed that all the 
sailors on the Royal yachts had to pass a musical 
examination before being appointed, and that all the 
orders were given by means of song ! . While one 
English singer declared that " he wondered how the 
Queen was able to endure the noise of her baby, she 
had so little liking for English singing. " Pooh, 
pooh ! " replied Tom Cooke, " she will put up with it 
on account of its being of German extraction." 

It is perhaps fortunate that by this time both theatre 
and concert hall are independent of royal patronage, a 
matter for which improved social conditions generally 
are responsible. 

That Queen Victoria kept a sharp eye on newspaper 
reports is evidenced by the fact that when a reporter 
at the Drury Lane dinner omitted to mention that 
Prince Albert's health had been drunk, she wrote 
to Sir Robert Peel for an explanation, and Sir 
Robert at once dutifully set about finding out the truth 
of the matter. The Duke of Cambridge had been 
Chairman, and he poor man had " thought he could 
not give the health of the Queen in a more satisfactory 
way than by coupling with the name of Her Majesty 

U 2 


that of her illustrious Consort." It was the custom 
at that time to place reporters as far away from the 
centre of interest as possible; and so, because some 
newspaper man did not understand the proceedings, 
hours of time had to be wasted by the Prime Minister 
in inquiring into this little matter, and in writing two 
long and humble letters to Her Majesty. 

If there were a belief abroad that the Queen and her 
circle despised the English Theatre, it was no less 
bitterly believed of Art. In September, 1845, there 
was a letter upon the subject in The Times, in which 
the writer asserted : " It is no use to conceal the fact 
British high art is hated at Court and dreaded by the 
aristocracy. They don't want it, they can't afford it; 
they think any art which does not cultivate their 
vanity or domestic affections can have no earthly 


In a tragic way, this ignoring of any English 
art but that of portrait painting was bound up 
with the history of "Tom Thumb's" royal progresses 
in England. 

On Tom Thumb's first arrival here he was twelve 
years old and twenty-five inches high. He appeared 
in the characters of Napoleon Buonaparte, Samson, 
Romulus, Cupid, a Highlander, and so forth, his 
exhibitions being purely a matter of size, clothes, and 
impudence; but Queen Victoria was enchanted. She 
had him to Court several times, presented him by her 
own hand "with a superb souvenir, of the most 
exquisite handicraft, made of mother-of-pearl, and 
mounted with gold and precious stones. On one side 


was the crown and V.R., and on the reverse a bouquet 
of flowers in enamel and rubies." She also gave him 
a gold pencil-case, with the initials T.T. and his coat 
of arms ! ! engraved on the emerald surmounting the 

There was a far more wonderful little woman at 
Earl's Court during the past summer who could 
converse in half a dozen different languages, but she 
made little stir, and I think that is some proof that the 
general standard of taste has risen in England, Yet 
I do not know ! If Queen Mary had commanded this 
diminutive lady to Court three different times, had 
presented her with valuable jewels, and had allowed 
the gentlemen of her suite to kiss the tiny freak, she 
might perhaps have been worked up into a celebrity, 
and have at the end of a year gone back to her native 
habitation including in her luggage three thousand 
six hundred and seventy-eight pounds 5 weight of 
gold; for such, a New York paper affirmed, Tom 
Thumb had secured. "What a transmutation of 
metals ! Such a mountain of gold for such a heap 
of brass ! " 

The English Queen in this way most obligingly 
made Barnum the showman's fortune; and when he 
returned from a round of visits to the European Courts, 
his little puppet had acquired such an easy assurance 
in high society that the piquancy of his manners ren- 
dered him doubly endearing, so that fair and titled 
ladies competed for the privilege of kissing him. The 
lower stratum of society followed their example, and 
untold thousands were spent in shillings for the 


honour of being in the same room with an artificial 
freak. Meanwhile, legitimate British art was left to 
starve, and all the world was shocked when B. R. 
Haydon committed suicide, leaving behind him the 
most inconsiderate expressions of despair and jealousy. 
In 1846 he had written a letter to The Times, bitterly 
airing his grievance concerning the " Exquisite Feeling 
of the English people for High Art" ! 

"General Tom Thumb last week received 12,000 
people, who paid him 600; B. R. Haydon, who has 
devoted forty-two years to elevate their taste, was 
honoured by the visits of 133^, producing 5 13$. 6d., 
being a reward for painting two of his finest works, 
Aristides and Nero." 

Poor Haydon, he should have realised that it was 
not to see a mere dwarf that the English people paid 
so much, but to do reverence to that which Royalty 
delighted to honour. He further wrote in his diary 
of the sightseers : 

:< They rush by thousands to see Tom Thumb. 
They push they fight they scream they faint 
they cry Help ! and Murder ! They see my bills 
and caravans, but do not read them; their eyes are 
on them, but their sense is gone. It is an insanity 
a rabies furore a dream of which I could not have 
believed Englishmen could be guilty." 

And then he was found dead beneath his picture, 
and Mrs. Haydon realised that a dead husband and 
a dead artist was more valuable than a living one. 
Her Majesty granted her fifty pounds a year, Lady 
Peel assigned her twenty-five pounds a year out of 
funds at her disposal, and Sir Robert Peel sent a 


cheque for one hundred pounds to start a subscription, 
and promoted one of Haydon's sons who was in the 

There was not much sense, however, in fastening 
the responsibility for this calamity upon the Queen, 
who had been brought up without ideals and with a 
mind intellectually untrained, and she could not alter 
her preferences, though she might have better realised 
her position. She entertained the Ojibbeway Indians 
with wonder and delight, while a Chinaman with two 
small-footed wives and a sister-in-law were welcomed 
at Osborne. There were other dwarfs too, three from 
the Highlands, two brothers and a sister, each about 
forty-four inches high, who were commanded to 
Buckingham Palace. That they were Scotch was 
sufficient recommendation. 

Though Her Majesty wasted no thought on high 
art, she was not entirely indifferent, for her real taste 
lay in portraits, of which a tremendous number were 
done of herself and her family. "Oh, dear, I wish 
no portraits were being done of the Princess Royal," 
remarked Lady Lyttelton on one occasion. The dogs, 
parrots, horses, and other animals also occupied the 
time of foreign or English artists. Prince Albert was 
more catholic, and in his position on the Art Commis- 
sion came to know many artists, among them Eastlake, 
for whom both he and the Queen showed great 

Lady Eastlake tells in her volume of Memoirs how 
the Queen-Prince secured her husband's presidency 
of the Royal Academy, conveying through Colonel 
Phipps their earnest hope that the Academy would 


elect him, " for it was of the utmost importance that 
the President should not only practically illustrate the 
rules of Art, but also be a gentleman of erudition, 
refined mind, and sound theory," adding that none 
fulfilled these conditions but Eastlake which was 
complimentary to Eastlake, but scarcely so to other 
candidates for the position. 

On another occasion Her Majesty made the 
Academy elect as one of their number Richard Wyatt, 
a sculptor of great merit, by remarking one day to 
John Gibson : " I expected long ago to have seen Mr. 
Wyatt' s name on the list of Academicians." " So did 
I," added the Prince Consort; and Gibson, having the 
Queen's remark repeated at a meeting of the Academy, 
caused the members to decide that Wyatt should 
be elected. 

When Gibson drew up the design for the recess in 
the Prince's Chamber in the new Parliament House, 
that design which showed the Queen seated with 
Wisdom on her right and Mercy on her left, Prince 
Albert took three or four Ministers to see it, and 
praised it to them exceedingly. Then the Royal Com- 
mission, with Lord John Russell in the chair, met to 
consider the various models, and the chairman handed 
a note round the table, which everyone read in silence. 
It was from the Prince, expressing his own entire 
approbation of Gibson's model. All present most 
dutifully voted for the Prince's candidate, and the 
business was finished. It may be wondered whether 
any member of that Commission even dared to feel a 
preference for any other design. 


[Emery Walker 


From the Painting by Sir Francis Grant, P.K.A., in the 
National Portrait Gallery. 


There had been a dire suspicion that Albert would 
advocate the securing of foreign artists to decorate the 
House of Lords ; and Eastlake told him that he could 
not take the Secretaryship of the Commission if Eng- 
lish artists were not employed. When Melbourne 
asked Sir F. Chan trey what should be done if foreign 
artists were given the work, the veteran replied : 

" Why, their heads ought to be broke and they driven 
out of the country, and, old as I am, I should like to 
lend a hand for that purpose." 

The literary man of the period fared worse than 
any, though, from all evidence, Prince Albert would 
have preferred him to anyone else as an occasional 
companion; but the Queen could not bear to have 
about her those whose intellectual level or attain- 
ments were higher than her own; she preferred to 
guide conversation, or, in default of that, to play 
games. But in later years these little restrictions 
relaxed, and both she and the Prince grew more wide- 
minded when the golden nineteenth century forced the 
acknowledgment from them that English men of letters 
and poets could find their equal nowhere. Yet it is 
always with surprise that I read of a meeting between 
the Prince and Thomas Carlyle the rugged ; while, on 
the other hand, it seems natural that he should seek 
Tennyson, the high polisher. 

When Prince Albert was asked to be Chancellor of 
Cambridge University, Victoria's heart was filled with 
happiness, though the brightness of her content was 
dimmed by the fact that there was another candidate in 
Lord Powis, who had been busily defending the 


Welsh bishoprics. It is not easy to say what excel- 
lences are necessary to form the Lord Chancellor of 
a University; it seems to have been enough that the 
Duke of Northumberland, who had previously 
occupied the post, had sufficient wealth to give away 
yearly ,36,000 in pensions. Lord Lamington, in his 
volume " In the Days of the Dandies," says that the 
Prince "had just invented a new infantry uniform hat, 
which had not obtained the approbation of the Army," 
and he gives the following verses by Augustus 
Stafford : 

" Prince Albert on this side, Lord Powis on that, 

We will not say which is the brighter; 
But we give up the youth who invented the hat, 
For the man who has saved us a mitre. 

Then why, oh collegiate dons, do you run 

Into all this Senate-house bother? 
Can it be that the lad who invented the one 

Has a share in dispensing the other? " 

The Members of the Senate, however, invited the 
Prince to become Lord Chancellor, on the grounds 
" That His Royal Highness Prince Albert's exalted 
rank and high position in the State, his admirable 
virtues, with his known love of literature, science, and 
academic studies, mark him out as the person most 
fitted to be elected into the office of Chancellor of the 

Both Prince and Queen thought that as he was 
offered such an honour there should be no competition 
for it, and the Prince wrote that he would not contest 
it. Bishop Bloomfield, however, turned this refusal 


into an acceptance by calling a meeting, at which it 
was resolved that " this meeting has heard with 
feelings of deep gratitude the terms in which His 
Royal Highness Prince Albert has been pleased to 
express the pride and pleasure he would have in rilling 
the office of Chancellor of the University." And the 
Bishop immediately arranged the poll, when the result 
showed a majority of one hundred and sixteen for the 
Prince in a total of seventeen hundred and ninety. It 
was not a large majority, and Albert was inclined to 
refuse the honour, but took counsel with Peel, who 
showed six good reasons why he should not do so. 

So Royalty went to Cambridge in July, 1847, with 
a great crowd of German Princes, Bishops, diplomats, 
statesmen, and aides-de-camp, to be met there by still 
greater crowds of excited, cheering people, causing 
Baroness Bunsen to exclaim : " How any woman's 
sides can Hear the beating of so strong a throb ! " to 
which she added, "but the Queen has royal strength 
of nerve." 

The Master of Trinity was at that time Whewell 
he of whom Sydney Smith said that " science was his 
forte and omniscience his foible." Of him Stafford 
wrote : 

"Through the realm of invention wherever ye travel, 
And the secrets of worlds and of nature unravel, 
You will find when you've mastered the works of infinity, 
The greatest of all is the Master of Trinity." 

The house in which he lived, Trinity Lodge, was 
once a Royal palace, and therefore was said to belong 
to the Crown; so when Her Majesty descended at 


its door, and Dr. Whewell begged leave to welcome 
her to his house, 

" My house," corrected careful Victoria. 

Not that the Master was unaware of the fact, for it 
has been said that because he lived there he considered 
himself to be almost royal, and would not allow under- 
graduates to sit in his presence. 

The Queen's choice of dress on this "auspicious 
occasion" was even less happy than usual, for she 
drove through Cambridge on the morning of the 
Installation wearing a claret-coloured silk gown striped 
with black, an amber-coloured Indian shawl embroi- 
dered with a wreath of flowers, and a bonnet of lilac- 
coloured silk covered with lace and ornamented with 
flowers. A mixture of colours so bizarre that criticism 

During the ceremony of the Installation the Prince 
listened to the fulsome address made to him some- 
times with a bow and "sometimes something like a 
blush passed over his countenance." On reading his 
address to his Sovereign he made a graceful bow, 
and when she read her answer she uttered with peculiar 
emphasis the word " approbation " in commending the 
University's choice of a Chancellor. At the end of 
the ceremony the Chancellor and his Queen had to 
walk to their carriage, so each undergraduate of Trinity 
showed his loyalty by pulling off his gown and spread- 
ing it out for the Queen to tread on ; in which way they 
managed quite nicely to supply the omission of a red 

There was some trouble about the Ode for the occa- 


sion, Wordsworth being chosen as the poet by the 
Prince and affirming his utter inadequacy for the 
honour, and a second poet called upon also feeling 
unequal to so noble an occasion; then Wordsworth 
was again invited, and he succumbed to royal blandish- 
ments. How can an honest man give the unstinted 
praise and adulation which royalty demands ? " He 
who has bequeathed to the world The Thanksgiving 
Ode and The Evening Ode, in which grandeur, sub- 
limity, and pathos take the most solemn and touching 
utterance he at least ought not to have written an 
Albert Ode, in which a ceremonious sophistication a 
great University Flam is sought, and vainly sought, 
to be elevated to the height of truth," said a 
contemporary critic. 

Wordsworth's biographers affirm that he did not 
write it himself, but that Edward Quillinan did it at 
his request " after the Laureate had failed in a 
reluctant attempt to prepare an ode." 

But was this so? In Mr. Broadley's collection I 
found the following letter in Wordsworth's hand- 
writing, which is at least worth consideration. It 
was addressed to the composer of the music : 

"Rydal Mount, May 5, 1847. 

" I quite agree in most of your remarks the alterations 
were made in the notion, mistaken as it seems, that they might 
better suit your music. Be pleased to understand that you may 
adopt or reject any alterations as they suit you or not, and 
whether the note you suggest for the printed ode may be 
requisite we will leave to after consideration. The only altera- 
tion that I wish to stand is lore instead of path, because it is 
intended to make her education as a girl the means by which 


she acquired a fitting knowledge of the manner in which she was 
to tread the path of peculiar duty when grown up. 

The alteration " past " and clarion's blast was to get rid of 
the word trumpet which is required near the end of the ode, but 
it may be repeated if you like. I will try to supply you with the 
sort of chorus you wish to conclude with. I felt the need of it, 
but I was willing to leave the matter where it was, till I was 
sure that you were desirous of an addition. 

The heavy domestic affliction that presses on me, the very 
dangerous illness of my only daughter, makes it impossible for 
me to exert myself satisfactorily in this task. 

I am, dear Sir, 

Yours truly, 

"Univ. Coll., Cambridge. 

"Do not misunderstand the word task', I only felt it one in 
reference to the great anxiety that I have alluded to ; for I was 
not called on to furnish the Installation Ode in my capacity of 
Laureate, but simply as a poet to whom His Royal Highness 
was pleased to apply on the occasion." 

I do not give the ode, as it may be found in any 
collected edition of the poet's works. 

That the undergraduates would be satisfied with a 
real, genuine paean of praise is not to be imagined, 
so they had an "Ode" all to themselves, which, how- 
ever, they obligingly showed to a multitude of friends. 
Part of it ran : 

" Sons of the Cam, awake ! 

Come, stir, ye sleeping elves, 
Arise or else your Prince will take 

A rise out of yourselves. 
Fast man come breakfast faster, 

Slow man drink off your sloe : 
Proctor and doctor, gyp and master, 

Do show some little go ! 
Ye Principals majestical, move on ; 
And all ye Dons, come rolling like the Don." 


Of course the caricaturists were busy over the event. 
There was Prince Albert taking the Pons Asinorum, 
rushing in cap and gown over a wooden plank, with 
an encouraging force of University men behind him 
and an opposing one before him. Again, in Chan- 
cellor's robes, he is standing over a woman in a Roman 
toga, who is sitting with her head back. The end of 
the Albert Hat converted into a funnel is inserted in 
her mouth, and through it Albert drops a pill, the 
description of the picture being, " The Prince Chan- 
cellor administering to Alma Mater his patent pills 
compounded of English, French, History, Geography, 
and the use of the Globes." 

The Rev. W. H. Brookfield tells 1 how the old duke 
(Wellington) came pacing across the Court in his 
scarlet Doctor's gown over a full dress black suit, and 
wearing a Doctor's hat. " You can guess what a loco- 
motive mob of gowns surrounded and accompanied 
i him." 

At the Vice-Chancellor's dinner to his new superior, 
the only people who charmed the company with song 
were Lablache (the Queen's singing master), Albani, 
and Salvi ; and there is a touch of irony about the fact 
that, when taking a late walk in Cambridge, Victoria 
grumbled, " Nothing seemed wanting but some sing- 
ing, which everywhere ,but in this country we should 
have heard." She so well encouraged the English in 
the art! 

The Morning Post, in reporting the return journey 

1 Mrs. Brookfield and Her Circle, by Charles and Frances 


to London, mentioned "that the Royal party halted 
for a few seconds at Bishops Stortford to take 
in water." 

So to all his other dignities Prince Albert added 
that of Lord Chancellor of the University of Cam- 
bridge. He could already put after his name K.G., 
K.P., G.C.B., G.C.M.G., D.C.L., LL.D., Ph.D., etc., 
Duke of Saxony, Prince of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, Field 
Marshal, Colonel of the nth or Prince's Own Hussars, 
Colonel of the Scots' Fusilier Guards, Elder Brother of 
Trinity House, Grand Ranger of Windsor Park, Lord 
Warden of the Stannaries, Governor and Constable of 
Windsor Castle, First and Principal Knight Grand 
Cross and Grand Master of the Order of the Bath, 
Chief Ranger and Keeper of Hyde Park and St. 
James's Park, High Steward of Plymouth, and Cap- 
tain-General and Colonel of the Artillery Company. 
One facetious person announced that he was also to 
be made Bishop of Manchester as his wife was mother 
of the Church. 

The Queen was very jealous that the command of 
the Army should be retained by herself, and a sugges- 
tion was made in 1842 that, after the death of the 
Duke of Wellington, Prince Albert should become 
Commander-in-Chief. Stockmar probably warned 
by the case of Ferdinand of Portugal snubbed the 
project, which was, however, again raised in 1846, to 
the great indignation of military circles. The Army 
had not forgotten that Prince Albert, a civilian of 
twenty, had been put into one of the highest mili- 
tary posts before he arrived in England, and it 


still had little confidence in him as a military 

The Morning Post denied the rumour, saying that 
" The Prince is not an ambitious man. He is satisfied 
and he has good reason to be so with domestic 
endearments . . . with the position he so deservedly 
holds as the liberal Maecenas of the Fine Arts . . . 
with the pleasure he must derive from giving a 
laudable example to English county gentlemen as a 
master of hounds, and to English agriculturists as a 
successful breeder." 

In 1850 the Duke of Wellington, then nearing his 
eighty-first birthday, himself made the suggestion, 
saying that "it was of the utmost importance to the 
stability of the Throne and Constitution that the com- 
mand of the Army should remain in the hands of the 
Sovereign, and not fall into those of the House of 
Commons." His plan involved the appointment of a 
responsible man as Chief of the Staff, but the Prince 
was to be the link which chained the Army to the 
Royal will. 

Fortunately for everyone, Prince Albert refused the 
honour, and in writing his decision to the Duke he 
wrote the memorable passage which, though often 
quoted, must be added here. He said that he ought to 
" sink his own individual existence in that of his wife 
1 that he should aim at no power by himself and for 
himself should shun all contention assume no 
separate responsibility before the public, but make his 
position entirely a part of hers ; fill up every gap which 
as a woman she would naturally leave in the exercise 



of her royal functions; continually and anxiously 
watch every part of the public business, in order to be 
able to advise and assist her at any moment in any of 
the multifarious and difficult questions or duties 
brought before her, sometimes international, sometimes 
political or social or personal. As the natural head of 
her family, superintendent of her household, manager 
of her private affairs, sole confidential adviser in 
politics, and only assistant in her communications with 
the officers of the Government, he is besides the hus- 
band of the Queen, the tutor of the Royal children, the 
private secretary of the Sovereign, and her permanent 

There is something very touching about the first 
part of this, but at the end the letter comes near to 
farce, and brings to mind the Lord High Everything 
Else in The Mikado, who was the First Lord of the 
Treasury, Secretary of State, Chancellor of the 
Exchequer, Lord High Admiral, Lord High Cham- 
berlain, Solicitor-General, Groom of the Second Floor 
Back, and a few other things. 

That the Prince should have ^regarded the mere 
fact of being a husband as a post in itself was absurd, 
and equally absurd was his claim to being the tutor of the 
Royal children, when an army of teachers was engaged 
for them; also, why should he have frittered his time 
in doing secretarial work for the Queen when there 
were so many people able and willing to do it? and 
he certainly was not her Minister, unless he meant that 
he advised her; but that again was a farce, for he 
decided everything for the Queen. What sins Stock- 


mar had to answer for in changing a lively youth into 
such a careworn, stolid man ! 

When the Queen conferred upon him the title of 
Prince Consort, the question arose as to whether there 
were any more worlds for him to conquer, and a car- 
toon showed him in despondent mood, the verse 
beneath running : 

"Say, aren't you Field Marshal and Warden besides 

Of the Castle of Windsor and all that? 
You've a regiment a kennel and then you have got 
The famous dear me what d'ye call, hat." 

Subsequent verses betray the Prince making up his 
mind to secure "the belt" and to vanquish the cham- 
pion, Ben Caunt, by deigning to inform him of his 

X 2 



QUEEN VICTORIA had a sentimental desire that the 
Prince Consort should see with her the chief places 
she had gone to with her mother in her childhood, 
and from year to year arranged visits to the most 
notable houses in England, visits which sometimes 
brought consternation into the minds of her hosts. In 
the early progresses she had driven through the 
country roads; now, however, she determined to use 
the railway, and it is curious to note that her first trip 
by train was as late as 1842 from Windsor to Padding- 
ton. That little journey worried a good many people, 
chief of whom was the Master of the Horse, who, with 
the chief coachman, had been under the obligation of 
carefully examining every equipage before the Queen 
used it. So there was the funny spectacle of a lord 
of the realm going down to Windsor station in a 
ruffled frame of mind to inspect the engine and its 
appointments, just as he would have inspected a horse 
and carriage ! The coachman went further, and in- 
sisted that if he could not drive Her Majesty he ought 
at least to pretend to do so and to travel on the engine, 
and he would not be content until arrangements were 


made for him to go with the pilot engine which preceded 
the Royal train. However, the damage done by 
smuts to his spotless scarlet livery was so disturbing 
to his mind that he did not again seek the honour 
of being a pioneer. 

In later years, if not then, it was customary to take 
extraordinary precautions against any accident occur- 
ring to the Queen's train, one being that men should 
be stationed all along the line at a distance of half-a- 
mile from each other; thus her journeys to and from 
Balmoral would cost her ,5,000 a year. 

After the Prince's death she took to travelling at 
night, which caused great regret to the railway 
directors, because of the increase of risk and 

One of the earliest visits made by the Queen-Prince 
to subjects was paid to Sir Robert Peel at Drayton, 
" a very nice house," said Victoria ; " our visit to 
Drayton has made the Premier very happy, and is 
calculated to strengthen his position," added Albert 
in the cheerful spirit of the philanthropist. 

They went to Chatsworth, and the Duke of Devon- 
shire " albeit he would willingly have dispensed with 
this visit"- made tremendous preparations with 
coaches and horses, with a ball, and garden illumina- 
tions, all trace of which last named disappeared in 
the night by the aid of three hundred workmen. They 
went to Belvoir, where the Duke of Rutland arranged 
a fox-hunt, at which the Prince made his much-vaunted 
impression upon England by his gallant riding. " One 
can scarcely credit the absurdity of people," wrote the 


Queen, "but Albert's riding so boldly has made such 
a sensation that it has been written all over the 
country, and they make much more of it than if he 
had done some great act." She did not realise that 
the Prince had thus for the first time proved to a 
certain section of her subjects a capacity to enjoy 
an exercise regarded as both manly and British, and 
much more satisfactory than dabbling with paints, or 
playing the piano. 

By the Queen's desire, Rutland had invited 
Wellington and Melbourne, and to please himself 
he had added the Palmerstons and quite a number 
of Whigs, a pleasure in which Victoria did not par- 
ticipate, as she already felt shy of her old servants 
and had a strong dislike for Pam. 

In 1844 came the great City event of the opening 
of the Royal Exchange, concerning which, though a 
description would be dull, the remarks of the satirists 
were somewhat amusing. This is how Democritus 
in London described the coming of the two City 
magnates to beg the Queen to stand sponsor at the 
christening of the 'Change. 

The Windsor people meet Goodman Grig running, 

and ask : 

" Neighbour, neighbour, 

What new mountain is in labour, 
Is the earthquake coming down, 
Is the comet's tail in town? " 

To which he replies : 

" The day is fast coming of doom 

The Castle's astonish 'd, astounded ! 
From the Master of Horse to the Groom 
Answer I '11 not for a sound head ! 


For suddenly came marching in, 
Surely the couple were crazy ! 

0, such a riotous chin, 

O, such a rollicking jazey ! " 

The chin and the jazey probably paunch turn out 
to belong to Sir Peter Prolix and Mr. Pumpkin, 
Knight and Alderman, come to proffer their request : 

" We post to-day to petition and pray 

The Crown, with sceptre and garter, 
Prancing in state with the cream-colour 'd eight, 
(And the more blue-ribboned the smarter). 

With the Beef-eating chaps in their muffin caps, 
And the Guards in their helmets glist'ning, 

Will drive us poor cits fairly out of our wits 
By coming to honour the christening ! " 

To this the lord replies : 

"Citizens, the Lord's Anointed 
Has commanded and appointed 
Tom Thumb to try his mimic power 
On royal ennui for an hour. 
Crowns, with high debate and discourse 
Overdone, have taken this course. 
When the Imperial Presence from 
In state has strutted Tiny Tom, 

1, your batterie de Cuisine, 

Will humbly lay before the Queen. " 

It is Sir Peter also, while the two are waiting over wine 
for the Queen's answer, who utters the famous verse 
in anticipating the success of their mission : 

"What exclaim 'd the gallant Napier, 
Proudly flourishing his rapier ! 
To the army and the navy, 
When he conquered Scinde ? ' Peccavi ! ' 

So the Royal Exchange was opened with great pomp, 
by a Queen dressed in white satin and silver tissue, 


flashing with diamonds, the Star of the Order of the 
Garter upon her bosom, the Garter itself set in bril- 
liants round her left arm; and the City Fathers had 
all they needed of smartness, for to please them the 
Queen was doubly crowned, with a miniature crown 
of diamonds at the back of her head and a diamond 
tiara surmounting her forehead. 

When the Queen rolled home again in her luxurious 
carriage she was glad "it was all over, and yet still 
keeping her enthusiasm for a show. She was honestly 
and naturally gratified by the good-humoured, loyal 
shouts of the great crowds, and she read with avidity 
all the accounts in the papers, that her vanity might 
be stroked with a still softer touch. 

:< They say no Sovereign was more loved than I 
am (I am bold enough to say) and that, from our 
happy, domestic home which gives such a good 
example." And she adds about her husband : " He 
is so beloved by all the really influential people and 
by all right-thinking ones." 

I am afraid our Queen had no idea of what a 
multitude of her people she thus consigned to the 
outer place. To her "the influential" those about 
her who were powerful and rich would mean about 
a score or so of people, while who shall judge 
which are the right-thinking in this world of a myriad 
ideals ? 

She also could not have realised that her people 
believed that her home was not at that time so 
happy as it had been, as the following verse 
attests : 


"In youth's springtide and beauty's pride 

Behold the radiant, ROYAL BRIDE 

OF MERRIE ENGLAND ! merry still, 

Tho' merrier once, for love's grown chill ! 

On her open brow and queenly 

Shines her triple crown serenely ! 

ERIN'S jewel, SCOTIA'S gem, 
1 CLAS MERDIN'S regal diadem." 

Among other visits was one to the Marquis of 
Exeter at Burghley House, near Stamford, about 
which a whole book was written, though little of it 
is worth recording. At Northampton, where the usual 
Mayoral address was tendered, the chronicler paid 
his Sovereign tEe most wonderful compliment he 
could think of : 

"Her Majesty was pleased to make an immediate 
reply, not reading from any previously prepared 
document, but framing the answer on the spdt as 
she uttered it. Her Majesty's answer was to the 
following effect : 

' Mr. Mayor, We receive the address with great 
pleasure from the Mayor, Magistrates and Corpora- 
tion of this town. We are gratified by the reception 
we have met with from this ancient borough. You 
will place the address in the hands of the Lord 
Chamberlain and an answer will be sent.' ' 

How sycophants do belittle royalty while wishing 
to extol them. This belauder of the Queen's won- 
derful mental effort further on announced with 
triumph that "no less than five flags hung from 
different parts of the village inn." 

1 Clas Merdin, the sea-defended green spot England. 


The weather was wet and the Queen had to amuse 
herself by going through the house, ending in the 
kitchen, where she was brought up short before "a 
large painting of a carcass of beef, the true ensign- 
armorial of English hospitality." 

There was a sequel to the visit which proved that 
the noble Marquis loved his purse better than his 
name. He had hired furniture with which to make 
an empty house fit to receive members of Her Majesty's 
suite, and kept it there so long that he was liable for 
rates. Refusing to pay, he was dunned, and the matter 
became painfully public, wonder being expressed how 
for a few pounds he could let it be published to the 
world that the furniture was hired, or have so dimmed 
the lustre of the Royal honour accorded him. 

At this time the Duke of Buckingham was on the 
verge of ruin and everybody, including the Queen, 
knew this, yet she elected with an immense following 
to stay three days in his house at Stowe. He had per- 
force to accept the honour and, sportsman as he was, 
determined to perish rather than fail. So his enter- 
tainment was the most magnificent of all, with four 
hundred yeomen to act as guard of honour and 
six hundred tenantry in white smocks to line the 

Being "commanded" to invite the hateful free 
corn importers, Peel and Aberdeen, he balanced the 
matter by including among the guests Disraeli, who 
was already preparing his vindictive attack upon Peel. 
It was the first time Victoria had met the Young 
Englander, and though she disliked and grew almost 


to hate him, she then distinguished him and " Mary 
Ann," as he called his wife, by her courtesy. 

The programme here also included a ball and a 
battue, at which latter the Prince's shooting was much 
admired, one hundred and forty-four hares, twenty- 
nine pheasants, and one snipe falling to his gun. 
More was said about this than it merited. The beaters 
were stationed so that their sticks touched, the hares 
rushed out in such multitudes that only one out of 
half-a-dozen could even be aimed at, and many of the 
poor beasts plunged into the canal and swam to the 
opposite shore. As for the pheasants, " quite a cloud 
assembled, and the slaughter was proportionately 
great." Then when a Prince shoots he is not only 
given the best position, but he is given first chance, 
those around deferentially doing their utmost to secure 
that his bag shall be a full one. I have seen it done 
in Norfolk. 

The Royal visit over, the Duke of Buckingham was 
left to reckon the cost, and the bailiffs sitting by his 
kitchen fire he made arrangements for selling his 
library and pictures, "for the magnificence of the 
reception given to Royalty had much to do with his 
financial collapse." Then, deprived of home, divorced 
by his wife, he went abroad, owing something like 
a million pounds. When in 1861 he died, at an hotel, 
one who had known him pronounced as epitaph : 
" Few men will have passed away less honoured in 
their life or less regretted in their death," and 
yet the Queen, with her purity of ideal, became his 
guest ! 


The Duke of Wellington was a less compliant host 
when the Queen visited him at Strathfieldsaye, for 
he refused to allow her to name the guests he should 
invite, as he refused to let reporters detail in their 
papers his daily programme. 

In 1844 the Duke of Coburg, whom Victoria 
scarcely knew, died, over which loss the Prince cried 
long and bitterly, and the Queen cried in sympathy, 
absenting herself from her ladies, and displaying 
swollen eyes when she did appear. But she screwed 
up her love and courage to let Albert go for a week 
to Coburg, " if you knew the sacrifice I make in telling 
and urging Albert to go. ... I have never been 
separated from him even for one night, and the thought 
of such a separation is quite dreadful." As one of 
her historians said of the Prince's bereavement and 
his journey to Coburg : " The Queen, too, had her 
trial to bear." This is typical of the Queen's character 
at the time, so emotional and so sympathetic and 
so ready to pity herself. 

The Queen and Prince made a state visit to Prussia 
in 1 845 on their way to Coburg, and though they were 
away for a month the regency bogey was not even 
mentioned. At Malines the King and Queen of the 
Belgians met them, at Habersthal the Crown Prince 
of Prussia greeted them. At Aix la Chapelle the 
King of Prussia stood waiting; at Cologne the road- 
ways over which the Royal party passed were sprinkled 
with eau-de-Cologne (was this advertisement or 
because of the city's renowned smells?), and at the 
Prussian Palace at Bruhl the whole Court was on the 


doorstep, otherwise the stairs, for the carriage was 
driven straight into the hall. 

For the first time the Queen felt the real bitterness 
of the refusal of her English subjects to give rank 
to her husband. At the state dinner at Stolzenfels, 
one of the Prussian palaces, Albert was not allowed 
to sit near his Royal wife. There he was but the 
younger brother of the Duke of Coburg, and had to 
take his place below those of higher birth, for among 
the guests was the third son of an uncle of the Emperor 
of Austria, who would not give precedence, and to 
him Prussia deferred rather than to the chief guest; 
so Ernest of Hanover was revenged for his niece's 
slight to himself. It was perhaps of this dinner that 
a German lady remarked that the Queen of England 
looked cross, for her expressive face did not generally 
hide her feelings. The whole incident is, of course, 
ignored in the " Life " of the Prince, but many on- 
lookers have chronicled it. 

Thence the Royal party went to Coburg, and, 
arriving at the Palace, found "the staircase full of 
cousins. It was an affecting but exquisite moment, 
which I shall never forget," said the Queen, with her 
usual extravagance of sentiment, for most of the 
cousins must have been strangers to her. 

Victoria was naturally delighted to stay at Rosenau, 
where the two little boys had lived, studied and played, 
where she could see for herself the views they had 
looked upon, and take the walks they had taken. She 
most enjoyed the quiet days there, though the re- 
curring visits of the sixty-one relatives who were 


gathered at Coburg to meet her must have made 
Rosenau lively. 

It is remarkable that in the authorised description of 
this visit constant reference is made to the Coburgian 
peasants. " I sketched a lovely housemaid that is here 
in her costume, and three good little peasant girls." 
"One or two women who were making hay came close 
to me, and said, as all the country people do here, 
* Guten Abend/ " The Queen thought all this charm- 
ing in Germany ! and she might have liked it in Scot- 
land ; but if the poor hinds around Windsor had come 
up to the castle decorated with ribbons and flowers, 
the women with wreaths on their heads, as the people 
did at Rosenau, how would they have been made wel- 
come ? With what haughty scorn would they have been 
refused admittance through the gates by the servants, 
and how the Prince would have shrunk from such an 
intrusion on his privacy ! While the Queen was draw- 
ing comparisons between the peasants of England and 
the peasants of Coburg all to the advantage of the 
latter the English peasants, if they had seen her 
abroad, might equally well have been drawing com- 
parisons between the Queen at Coburg and the 
Queen at Windsor, and to the advantage of the 

The one incident a battue of deer which should 
have marred the happiness of Her Majesty on this 
visit, is treated very philosophically in the " Life," 
where we are told that the Queen was " struck by the 
mediaeval strangeness of the scene." It was held 
where the skirts of the great Thuringian forest came 


down to the valleys, about fourteen miles from Gotha; 
a space having been cleared in readiness on the top 
and down the side of one of the hills. At the end of 
this space a pavilion of branches and leaves, open at 
three sides, had been built, and decorated with heather, 
forest berries, and flowers, the whole being enclosed 
with a wall of white canvas and netting. Chasseurs, 
dressed in brilliant colours, stood in the enclosure, and 
a German band with a re-pertoire of lively music stood 

On their arrival, Queen Victoria, Queen Louise, and 
the Duchess Alexandrina of Saxe-Coburg were ushered 
to their seats in the pavilion ; the King of the Belgians, 
Prince Albert, Prince Leiningen, and Duke Ferdinand 
of Saxe-Coburg stood there also with their guns, while 
the other gentlemen took up their places at the side, 
where a neat little table for shot and powder had been 
let into the ground. Now all being ready, beaters in 
white coats drove a large number of deer into the 
enclosure, the gate was shut, and the band began to 
play polkas, just as in the olden times a band played 
when a man was being broken on the wheel. 

So to the sound of merry dance-music the deer were 
driven from side to side in an endeavour to send them 
as close as possible to the Prince in the pavilion. The 
poor frightened beasts became frenzied, and tried 
every method of escape, and when one succeeded the 
country people on the hillside shouted with delight; 
one stag actually cleared the enclosure a feat which 
woke loud applause from them. Some malicious 
writer suggested that the clapping was less at the 


escape of the deer than at the failure of the princely 
marksmen to kill him, but I think it meant that even 
with such an example before them, a trace of the sport- 
ing instinct remained with the people. One frightened 
doe, having so far run between the bullets and tried 
every point for escape, trotted straight up to the pavi- 
lion as though hoping to find mercy there, and she was 
promptly shot. All the beasts being now disposed of, 
the dead and dying ones were dragged up to the feet 
of the ladies, and their throats cut, after which the 
bodies were disposed in rows, on either side of the 
pathway, so that the visitors as they went along might 
look upon the stiffening limbs, dull glassy eyes, and 
ghastly wounds, and sweep the edges of their gowns 
in the blood. Truly one of Punches comments was 
well earned : 

" Sing- a song of Gotha a pocket full of rye, 
Eight-and-f orty timid deer driven in to die ; 
When the sport was open'd, all bleeding they were seen, 
Wasn't that a dainty dish to set before a Queen ! 
The Queen sat in her easy chair, and look'd as sweet as 

honey ; 
The Prince was shooting at the deer in weather bright and 

sunny ; 
The bands were playing Polkas, dress 'd in green and golden 

clothes ; 
The nobles cut the poor deers' throats, and that is all Punch 

knows ! " 

A letter in the Standard from someone at Coburg 
affirmed that " the deer killing was very shocking. The 
Queen wept. I saw large tears in her eyes, and Her 
Majesty tells me that she with difficulty kept the chair 
during what followed. . . ." She added, "For the 


Prince the deer were too numerous and must be killed. 
This was the German method; and no doubt the 
reigning Duke will distribute them to his people, 
who will thank Prince Albert for providing them 

In her journal the Queen says of the event, "As 
for the sport itself, none of the gentlemen like this 

So we have this proposition and conclusion : The 
Queen did not like it, the Prince did not like it, all 
the gentlemen disliked it; but as the deer must be 
killed, the gentlemen had to turn butchers, make a 
holiday of their work, and force the Queen by social 
rules of courtesy to sit for two hours watching the 
shambles ! 

Punch's cartoon is gruesome. Albert stands in the 
midst of a heap of dying and dead beasts, smiling at 
the Queen in the attitude of a conjurer who has just 
performed a successful trick, and she from her chair 
gazes at him with a look of fatuous admiration, while 
a man in the foreground is busily cutting a doe's 
throat. The other gentlemen with guns in their 
hands admiringly regard the Prince, and Lady 
Canning, Her Majesty's attendant, turns away from 
the scene, weeping. 

On this day in the mountains, the killing over, the 
Queen admired the heavens and earth. " The day had 
been, and the evening was, more beautiful than any I 
remember, and the soft blue haze over the hills, as we 
left Reinhardtsbrun for Gotha, perfected the charm of 
the scene by the delicate veil which it threw over it." 



So the butchery did not spoil the Queen's pleasure in 
nature, and the scene she had left did nothing to 
impress on her mind that nature is even more 
beautiful in animal life than in its combination of earth 
and sky. 

Victoria said the Prince did not like the butchery, 
and that is all we know of the Prince's views on the 
point. The Herald asserted that once at Balmoral 
Albert had a stag driven before the window of the Castle 
and shot it there, having called the Queen to see the 
feat. He may not have liked doing it, duty and custom 
alone may have urged him; yet his Scotch record is of a 
constant succession though in a more sportsmanlike 
way of deer-killing. But it is useless trying to pene- 
trate his thoughts, though it would be interesting to 
see him as he really was, not as the Queen saw him, 
or as she wished us to see him, but shorn of his 
fictitious attributes, so zealously worked up after his 
death. A real man, thoughtful, enlightened, pre- 
judiced, intellectual, yet conceited, warm-hearted, hard, 
custom-bound, weary of the little things with which 
his sentimental Queen choked his days, tenacious of 
power, yet self-sacrificing and willing to hide his light 
under a bushel ; strong in uprightness, yet quite capable 
of uttering a swear-word ; a dilettante, an experimenter, 
a practical theorist who for his health's sake should 
never have been thrust into politics. Great as he was, 
he would have been greater and lived longer had he 
escaped being coached, clipped, and artificially forced 
by his German mentor, and if the clinging ivy which 
lived upon his strength had been a plant of hardier 


growth, ready to support as well as to lean upon 

Victoria loved her lord so well that all he did was 
right, and she could not understand why the general 
public were not fascinated by him. She thought that 
same public ignorant, sinful, and vindictive for never 
losing its suspicion of his German leanings, and was 
quite certain that there was no ground for such sus- 
picions. Yet the Royal pair had in their palace be- 
tween sixty and seventy foreign servants, the Queen 
between forty and fifty, and the Prince half that 
number, who were given the upper places. Their rich 
i subjects followed their example, and at a time when 
thirty per cent, of English servants were out of employ- 
ment there were twelve thousand foreign menials filling 
the best places in London alone. 

Here at once was an excuse for suspecting the Prince's 
tendencies. The ridiculous idea that any foreigner 
must be better than the best English cook, dressmaker, 
milliner, hairdresser, singer, dancer, or pianiste is a 
relic of the early Victorian days, and has done much 
to lower England in the eyes of the world by dis- 
couraging the practice of those arts in this country. 
Of the Palace foreigners so much secrecy was observed 
that no outsider knew their number, so a story of one 
is a rarity. 

Victoria's hairdresser, named Isidore, received 200 
i year for his work, strict punctuality being required 
: rom him. Once taking a day's holiday in London, he 
eturned to Paddington in time to see the train slide 
)ut of the station, and in excited despair called upon 

Y 2 


the station-master and all the porters for help. As 
there was no train for two hours, a special was sug- 
gested, and eagerly agreed to, at a price of iS, the 
sympathetic station-master ordering extra speed, so 
that the result was a pound a mile a minute. 

In other ways the Prince could never divest himself 
of his belief in the inferiority of all classes of English- 
men. A few weeks after his marriage he said to his 
brother : 

" When you are gone I shall have no one with whom 
I can speak openly of these things. An Englishman 
cannot grasp or understand such matters, and only sees 
in words like those I have just uttered an arrogant 
desire to blame on the part of the foreigner." This 
was not bad for a youth of twenty ! but such an attitude 
of mind was fatal to his popularity. Many years later 
he grieved over the sad fact that life in England was 
so dull that all his German servants had either to marry 
or turn rogue ! "I never heard a real shout in Eng- 
land ! ... In Coburg with a hundred thousand in- 
habitants there are thirty-two gardens for the people 
who meet and associate in them." 

I wonder if Isidore was responsible for the trying 
coiffeurs which the Queen affected, the smooth sleek- 
ness, the loops round the ears, the high plait like a 
little crown midway between neck and forehead, the 
pride of simplicity over grace ! 

But if Victoria's taste led her to deck out her babies 
in coloured velvet, lace, pearls and diamonds, Albert 
had the reputation of a dandy, and, like Beau 
Brummell, invented a stock, which was said to be 


most easy and agreeable, yielding to the slightest 
depression of the head in any direction, as it had 
steel wire springs round the edge of the collar. Before 
this he wore a swathe of silk simply, which in one 
drawing the Queen is represented as knotting for him. 
He also introduced the frockcoat into England, and 
another caricature, based on his remark that no one 
in England could make a coat, showed him in a rage 
kicking several tailors, who had done everything but 
fit him well for one. 

One of the Queen's foreign servants, a French- 
woman, attained, after leaving her employ, a horrible 
notoriety in Paris by systematically torturing five 
English children committed to her care, so that two 
of them died. Being brought to trial and only two 
years' imprisonment given, Parisian feeling ran so 
high that an appeal de minima was lodged and she 
got five years. The Annual Register describes this 
creature as the Queen's wardrobe woman, but she was 
probably only one of several engaged in the Royal 
dressmaking department, for an importation of French- 
women had been made for that purpose. 

Needless to say, that the news that Her Majesty 
was having millinery and flower-rooms fitted up in 
her palaces, and had engaged two first-rate French 
artists, one as milliner and dressmaker, and the other 
as florist, brought consternation to the minds of the 
London tradesmen. They saw that it meant the with- 
drawal of work from their establishments and feared 
that the material itself would be bought in Paris, and 
it was keenly argued that one who drew such a large 


sum of money annually from the country should spend 
it among her people. Punch, as usual then, was out- 
spoken : " It is notorious that the Queen is at the head 
of the Society for the Relief of the Distressed Needle- 
women, and she could not therefore take any proceed- 
ings by which the earnings of that wretchedly ill-paid 
class would be still further curtailed. Her Majesty 
would, we are convinced, pause before adding a 
milliner's workroom to the Royal establishment, when 
she reflects that the example of parsimony would be 
immediately followed by hundreds, who can only 
imitate greatness in its littleness, and are always 
delighted when fashion affords them encouragement 
to an act of meanness. . . . We believe the libel to 
have originated in the same malevolent spirit of 
detraction that accused Prince Albert of intending to 
add a slaughtering house to his personal establish- 
ment, for the purpose of chousing the butcher out of 
the profit to be obtained by killing the meat. We 
should as soon expect to see the words, ' Albert, 
Meatsalesman,' over the door of Buckingham Palace, 
or 'Victoria, Artiste in Artificial Flowers/ stuck in 
the windows of the ground floor, as bring ourselves 
to believe that the Royal pair contemplate the paltry 
economy of entering into competition with their own 

That a paper which spoke thus boldly was hated 
at Court is not surprising, but there was need for it, 
as the passion for economy emanating from the Prince 
touched the people at every point. With the Court's 
continual absences from London, its long spells of 


middle-class life at Osborne or Balmoral, its army 
of foreign and Scotch servants, London especially 
gained little from its dual Monarch. 

However, as a master Albert was punctilious and 
just, and much more thoughtful for his servants than 
was the Queen, who, it was said, did not even remember 
to order them a glass of wine, a dinner or favour, 
either at her Coronation or her wedding. In later 
life, however, there was no kinder mistress than Her 
Majesty, and men who have served her remember her 
still with affection. 

Lady Lyttelton gives charming pictures of the 
Prince noisily and eagerly managing a new kite for 
his boys, consenting on a cold December day to go 
through quarterly accounts if she will allow him to 
do reel steps all the time to warm himself, and showing 
candour, truth, prudence, and manliness generally. 
If only the Queen could have transmitted such human 
impressions of him ! 

There is a rather amusing story of him that, when 
lunching next the President of the Ipswich Museum, 
he said to Sir Charles Lyell, who sat on the President's 
other side, " I will show you a geological illustration 
in your way; there is a glacier" pointing to a huge 
block of ice "and here is the stream proceeding 
from its melting, and you see where it is flowing to." 
The stream was just pouring over the edge of the 
table into the lap of the President who was in the 
Chair, and he had barely time to escape being wetted 

Sometimes Albert was an unconscious humourist, 


and Edward Lear tells how he stood next to him and 
heard him ask Hudson, the Railway King, what he 
thought of the Atmospheric Railway. Hudson's reply 
was : 

" Please, your rile 'mess, I think it is a noomboog ! " 

The Prince turned to Lord Farnham with : " Ex- 
plain to me, what is a noomboog ? " 

Sometimes he found it difficult to understand words, 
and during his first visit to Scotland it is recorded 
that someone mentioned Ben Lomond to him. 
This seemed familiar, and the Prince discouraged 

"What did you say? "he asked. 

" Ben Lomond," replied the Equerry. 

"Oh, Benjamin Lomond," responded the Prince, 
laying stress on Benjamin. The story is at least 
ben trovato. 

He had plenty of grit and courage, too, which was 
displayed in more than one serious fire, both in his 
youth and later. Thus in March, 1853, the very day that 
the family had returned to Windsor, a fire broke out 
in the dining-room of the Prince of Wales' Tower at 
ten at night. Everyone was much alarmed, for it was 
a serious matter, and there was every fear that the 
flames would spread to the rest of the Castle. The 
Prince first thought it wise to secure a treasure from 
his own rooms as one who was there told and called 
a servant to carry out a small trunk into a place of 
safety. The man stooped to the task, but it was 
beyond him, for small as was the box it was heavy 
like lead. Then, in his anxiety, the Prince caught 


at one handle, and the servant holding the other, 
they staggered with it into the open air. What the 
trunk contained no one but the Prince knew. Of the 
fire Albert wrote : " We had to battle with the flames 
from ten at night until four in the morning before 
we got them completely under ; nevertheless, the injury 
was confined to one tower of the Castle, which has 
been gutted by the flames through four stories. Had 
the fire got beyond the tower it would have been 
impossible to save the Castle." 

Several years later the Princess Royal showed the 
same cool courage when, in sealing letters, her sleeve 
caught fire and set light to her dress. Miss Hildyard 
snatched up a rug and drew it tightly round her, ex- 
tinguishing the flames, and the girl neither screamed, 
fainted, nor fussed, but said, " Don't frighten mamma ; 
send for papa first"- thereby betraying the custom of 
the family, as well as, in this case, the loving bond 
which existed between father and daughter. 

As this chapter has become more or less anecdotal, 
it might as well finish by being frankly so. Among 
other stories, Lord Malmesbury tells in " Memoirs of 
an Ex-Minister" that the Queen, like every other 
woman, sometimes lost her keys. Once they were the 
keys which opened the Government boxes, that she 
dropped while riding in London. Lord Malmesbury 
met Colonel Arbuthnot walking down the centre of 
King's Road, his eyes fixed on the ground, while 
behind him was a strong body of police and park 
rangers drawn in a line across the road, all looking 
down also, which had a very absurd effect. Individuals 


among the amused public found it irresistibly tempting 
to give false intelligence about the keys, sending the 
seekers in all directions after people who were sup- 
posed to have picked them up. 

Queen Victoria gained a reputation for extreme 
punctuality, which if true of her in her later life was not 
so concerning her early days : " As I write you will be 
making your evening toilette and not be ready in time 
for dinner," wrote the Prince when in Liverpool ; and 
Lord Campbell tells how, at a palace party, the master 
of ceremonies bet him that the Queen would be 
twenty or more minutes late for dinner : " She always 
thinks she can dress in ten minutes, but she takes about 
double the time," he concluded. " Sure enough, it 
was nearly twenty-five minutes after eight before she 
appeared," added Lord Campbell. The Prince him- 
self was anything but punctual, and among Twelve 
Hints to Railway Travellers I find : " No. 9. Should 
Prince Albert be coming or going, pray that H.R.H. 
may be punctual." In those days a Prince could com- 
mand on a railway, and when Albert had been carried 
at the rate of sixty miles an hour on one occasion, he 
said to the responsible person : " You travel too fast 
on this line ; not so fast back, please." 

Very amusing is the story by Mr. Harry Furniss in 
" Harry Furniss at Home " of how a Solicitor-General 
appeared before the Queen to receive the honour of 
knighthood. " ' What am I to do ? ' he asked nervously 
of the official at the door. ' Kneel, kneel ! ' Suiting 
the action to the word, he immediately fell on his knees 
and, like the funny man at a child's party, propelled 


himself along the floor on his knees. The Queen was 
'overcome with laughter, all the more that when she 
retreated the little man followed. And yet he rose to 
the highest post in his profession, and stood by Her 
Majesty's side as Lord Chancellor of England to read 
her address to the House of Lords." 

It was in the House of Lords when the Queen 
prorogued Parliament in 1845 that the Duke of Argyll, 
who carried the Crown on a cushion, forgot when 
backing from Her Majesty that there were two steps 
behind him, and stumbled. The crown fell to the floor 
with a clatter, and lost some of its jewels. Victoria 
turned very grave, though she kindly begged the Duke 
not to be distressed, and heads were solemnly shaken 
over the incident. For nearly a year from that time 
the Queen was receiving one shock after another about 
Parliamentary affairs, which ended with the fall of 

It was when going to open Parliament on another 
occasion that just as the Queen's carriage reached the 
Duke of York's column the harness of one of the 
leaders of the cream ponies broke, and the animal 
began to prance. An obliging policeman had the usual 
piece of string in his pocket, and tied up the strap, 
getting his foot stamped on for his trouble, the pain of 
which perhaps the Queen's sympathetic words salved. 

From time to time the Palace inmates were horrified 
by the discovery of thefts from the attics and even 
the rooms, and two poor housemaids were on one 
occasion charged, then for lack of evidence dis- 
charged, as they also were from their posts. Later 


a cabinet-maker was accused, who was in such 
horror at the idea that he committed suicide. Still 
the thefts continued. The long pole studded with 
solid silver ornaments of Tippoo Sahib's tent, and 
a large part of the tent, silver tops of tables, 
silver from the picture frames, mirrors, and cornices, 
massive silver firedogs and candelabra, silver statuettes 
of great value, even chairs and furniture disappeared, 
and the palace keepers were in despair. 

Then a silversmith in Long Acre had several things 
of such delicate workmanship, silver figures of Louis 
XIII. and of Marshal Saxe, worth 200, brought to 
him for melting down, that he informed the police, 
and they were identified as having been taken from a 
room next the Prince's study. A cabinet-maker who 
had worked for years at the Palace was found to be 
the thief, one who had callously ruined two people and 
caused the death of a third. 



IN the midst of the conflict with Palmerston already 
recorded, the Queen gave birth to her seventh child, 
Prince Arthur (to whom the Duke of Wellington was 
sponsor); and the day after his speech in the House 
which sealed Palmerston's triumph, Sir Robert Peel 
called at the Palace. Riding back in St. James's Park 
his horse, a vicious one, made a sudden buck, and 
Peel, who did not let go the reins, fell with the animal's 
knees on his body. He was carried home, and for a 
few days lived in delirium, then recovering sufficient 
consciousness to say " God bless you ! " he died, a 
broken rib having pierced his lung. 

The Queen, who was sufficiently recovered to go out, 
had been that afternoon to call on the Duke of Cam- 
bridge, and as she left his house an army officer named 
Pate brought the heavy head of his cane down with 
all his force upon her head, crushing the bonnet and 
severely bruising her forehead. Pate gave no reason 
for his act, and the jurors were so indignant that they 
refused to believe him insane, and sentenced him to 
seven years' imprisonment. Saved by her bonnet, the 



Queen only suffered from the tenderness caused, 
though the shock made her very nervous. " I start 
at any person coming near the carriage, which I fear is 

The Queen's grief over Peel's death showed itself 
by incessant tears, and by dining apart from her Court 
for three evenings. " I have lost not merely a friend, 
but a father," she said, just as she said of her husband, 
"he felt that he had lost a second father." To the 
Prince Sir Robert's death was a great blow, for he 
looked upon him as a tower of strength in political 
troubles, and Peel was at that very time busily engaged 
in smoothing the way for the Great Exhibition. With 
a nature so easily depressed as the Prince's, the facts 
that Peel was dead, the Duke of Cambridge dying, 
and Queen Louise of Belgium just declared incurably 
ill, all combined to lower his vitality, for he was far 
from strong, and now there seemed no one upon whom 
he could lean. He suffered much from rheumatism 
and was constantly having attacks of nervous fever, 
slight in themselves, but recurring with increasing fre- 
quency. Yet he never abated his work, and in the 
struggle to live up to Stockmar's ideal an ideal, alas ! 
which he had taken as his own he was slowly but 
surely sapping his strength. 

The death of Louis Philippe in 1850 affected the 
Queen much, for nothing but her husband's good 
sense had prevented her from openly overflowing with 
affection for the Orleans family. Yet she was always 
so anxious not to do the wrong thing that she scarcely 
saw them without first consulting her Prime Minister. 


Her love for them, however, made her particularly 
dislike Louis Napoleon, who was having a very un- 
comfortable time as President, remarking once when 
he found himself deprived of power, yet kept busy 
with clerical work : 

" They want to make me the Prince Albert of 

While France was in this state of flux Albert was 
working unceasingly at his great Exhibition scheme, 
approaching public bodies, manufacturers and foreign 
Powers, and, though most people who had a personal 
interest in trade and commerce took up the scheme, 
the public raised a great outcry. 

That England should invite a multitude from other 
lands to see her work and productions was unthink- 
able. The "hated foreigner" would steal our ideas, 
copy our inventions, and destroy our trade. No one 
imagined it possible that any foreigner could teach 
us anything ; on the contrary, as they were mostly dirty 
ruffians, they would inevitably bring cholera, small- 
pox, plague, and every other disease into our midst. 
And if the diseases were not enough, the foreign rogues 
would carry, as of course they always did, stilettoes, 
knives and poison, and so deliberately accomplish that 
which accident left undone. Further, they would eat 
all the food or cause its price to rise so that famine 
would descend upon the land, and England would from 
all these causes, also from inevitable riots and insurrec- 
tions, be depopulated. Over and above all this these 
terrible outcasts would assuredly spoil the morals of 
this virtuous island. So the accusations ran, and the 


Prince said that every post brought him letters saying 
that, as a foreigner, he desired to corrupt England. 

These prognostications were largely political, being 
got up by those who, being out of power, thought to 
make the Prince the scapegoat for their woes. But 
England was not alone in her fears. Almost every 
Court in Europe denounced the idea, and embroidered 
its disapproval with tales of conspiracy, intended 
assassinations, and bomb-throwing. The Diplomatic 
Corps in London expressed by ill-humour the senti- 
ment of their Courts, while the King of Prussia felt 
the most acute irritation, absolutely forbidding the 
Crown Prince and Princess from coming to England. 
The Prince, however, eventually succeeded in securing 
his brother's consent, bringing with him his young 

But perhaps the most disappointing opposition of 
all was that given by some members of the Govern- 
ment. Lord Campbell who lived near the park 
joined Lord Brougham in declaring, as lawyers, that 
the Crown had no right to use the park for their 
Exhibition. Hyde Park had been the Prince's idea, 
and it was not until the matter was well under way 
that The Times, inspired by the malcontents, started 
a wild outcry against the whole scheme, and in par- 
ticular against the proposed site. Of this the Prince 
wrote to the Duchess of Kent : " We are to pack out 
of London with our nuisance to the Isle of Dogs, etc. 
There is to be a division in the House about it to-day. 
Peel was to have taken the lead in our defence, but 
now there is no one with influence enough to procure 


a hearing for justice and reason." (How like the 
Prince !) "If we are beaten, we shall have to give 
the whole thing up." 

During the debate in the House, Colonel Sibthorpe, 
that arch-reactionary, distinguished himself by praying 
that hail or lightning might descend from Heaven to 
defeat the ill-advised project. This is as dignified 
as a suggestion I found in a newspaper, that birds 
would settle on the building in such quantities that 
their castings alone would break so fragile a substance 
as glass ! 

The Prince's bad opinion of the Commons was not 
justified, for "justice and reason" gained a majority 
of votes. The great public which was to be decimated 
by the Exhibition took the matter very lightly, and 
seemed in no wit frightened, having spirit enough to 
sing such songs as : 

"Oh, Albert, spare those trees, 

Mind where you fix your show, 
For Mercy's sake, don't, please 
Go spoiling Rotten Row. 

Where Fashion rides and drives 

House not industrial art; 
But 'mid the busy hives, 

Right in the City's heart ! 

And is it thy request 

The place that I'd point out? 
Then I should say the best 

Were Smithfield, without doubt." 

Punch had a cartoon of an angry and sulky-looking 
Prince turning away from a deputation of Belgravians 
and others, while the Queen pleads with him on behalf 



of Hyde Park. However, Paxton showed that the 
park need not suffer in beauty, for the building might 
be a huge conservatory, and could include even two 
fine elms which seemed in the way. So when the cruci- 
form building was up, at the end of each transept 
stood a majestic tree. It was, in fact, an enclosed 
park with long glades of grass and an avenue of old 

At the last moment the bright young George, Duke 
of Cambridge, sent to remonstrate with the Prince and 
express his anxiety for his cousin's safety. But at 
such fears the Queen laughed. Probably of all people 
she was the most joyful on that brilliant day when 
hundreds of thousands of people came with delighted 
curiosity to see the notabilities who entered the great 
glass palace, for large as it was and full as it was, it 
could not hold a tithe of the people who were present. 
The radiant happiness of the Queen in seeing the 
success of her husband's idea was obvious to everyone, 
and the appearance of the Duke of Wellington brought 
a roar of welcome all along the line. 

Charles Greville was more interested in the fulfil- 
ment of prognostications than in the ceremony, and 
he stayed in the park and wrote of the wonderful 
spectacle of countless multitudes streaming along in 
every direction, and congregated upon each bank of 
the Serpentine down to the water's edge; no soldiers 
and hardly any policemen were to be seen, and yet 
all were orderly and good-humoured. " The success 
of everything was complete, the joy and exultation 
of the Court unbounded." Then, as usual, the 


prophets of evil forgot to forbode, they began to 
praise, and at last pretended that they had been 
praising all along. Our own grumbling ones do the 
same thing now ! 

When the Exhibition's life of one hundred and 
thirty-eight days was over, there was a surplus of 
,150,000, and to that we owe the establishment of the 
Victoria and Albert Museum at South Kensington. 
Good as was that object, there was even a better way 
in which a little portion of that sum should have been 
used, for the success of the Prince's scheme was 
allowed to rest on the ruin of various people, of 
which I give one example out of at least half a dozen. 

A man named Hicks who had saved George Ill's 
life from drowning in the Serpentine, was permitted 
as reward to keep an apple-stall in the Park. His 
daughter, then his grand-daughter, succeeded him, 
and the stall had grown into a small white cottage, to 
which children went for gingerbread, curds and whey, 
etc. The Exhibition swept away the cottage, and Ann 
Hicks appealed vainly to the Commissioners. She 
proved that she and hers had held it for a hundred 
and fifteen years, and had spent one hundred and thirty 
pounds upon it; yet the most the tender Prince and 
his men would do for her was to allow her five shillings 
a week for one year. She was reduced to such poverty 
that she and her little grandchild had to sleep under 
the sky, and then a protest in Punch induced kind- 
hearted people to send her out to Australia, where she 
had a son settled. As for the others who for years 
had gained a living in the park and had had their 

7 2 


stalls destroyed, a man named Lacy, a cripple named 
Spicer, a blind man, and others, they were left to live 
or die as they might; the dead stones of a museum 
might have equalled in value a pheasant or a hare, but 
they far outvalued the lives of poor people. It is 
regrettable that a Prince with great aims should have 
allowed the good achieved to be blotted by such 
injustice. There is a real use for people like Jasper 
Judge ! 

The great show brought, not famine and death, but 
trade and prosperity to London, and there were gor- 
geous entertainments devised for the guests, a royal 
fancy dress ball, a great City ball, which the Queen 
and Prince attended, a million of enthusiastic people 
remaining until three in the morning in the streets to 
see the royal party go home. The gaieties were closed 
by a State Ball at the Palace, of which Baroness 
Bunsen's description is interesting : 

" We went into one of the ballrooms, where within a 
dense circle of onlookers was the Queen's quadrille 
going on. ... I caught sight of that upright, beautiful 
head, crowned with diamonds, which carried itself so 
steadily through all the steps of the dance. I soon saw 
the whole figure, so small and yet so delicate and well 
formed, that size is not noticed. We observed the 
peculiar way in which she stood after the Duke of 
Cambridge had made his bow: she stood alone and 
alone stepped back, and mounted the throne; nobody 
asked her or helped her; she went to her place in her 
own right. The action was highly dramatic, but this 
prevented it from being theatrical." 


The Bunsens were great favourites at Court. They 
were from Prussia, in connection with which Victoria- 
Albert were already thinking of the marriage of their 
eldest daughter, and in whose politics they were always 
interested, Bunsen having the entree to the Prince 
whenever he desired. 

Mr. G. W. E. Russell tells in one of his delightful 
books how Victoria betrayed the same unconscious 
self-possession when the Empress Eugenie was visit- 
ing her in 1855. The royal party went to the opera, 
the Empress so robed and jewelled as to set the fashion 
for all Europe. Before sitting down she looked over 
her shoulder to see if a chair was ready for her. The 
Queen sat down without thinking of her seat, for she 
knew that her chair would be just where it was wanted. 

On the whole, the Exhibition drew the people nearer 
to Albert than they had ever been before, and if he 
had been a different person he might have retained 
their confidence and won their affection. However, the 
complaint of his being a German was always cropping 
up under different pretexts, and in a general way, 
because in public his face was inexpressive, if not stern, 
because the British people could never win a smile 
from him, because he never was known to let himself 
go, because, as some little boys once said when they 
went to play with the Prince of Wales, "we cannot 
play, we are afraid of the Prince Consort." 

Yet Albert made no attempt to Germanise England 
further than to insist for himself upon a hot dinner in 
the middle of the day, the English custom having been 
cold luncheon, and also to carry on and elaborate the 


Christmas Tree amusement for the children, which 
Queen Adelaide, who loved children as much as did 
Queen Victoria, had brought here with her. 

Where perhaps his r oreign influence was most felt 
was in the habits of Court life, into which were im- 
ported small but rigorous laws, whicH, if by chance 
they did increase the outward respect shown to 
Royalty, must sometimes have diminished the reality 
of that respect by the inconvenience inflicted. Thus, 
on one occasion Lady Russell was a guest at Court 
soon after the birth of one of her babies, and the Queen 
whispered to her : " I know you are not very strong yet, 
so please sit down, and when the Prince comes in Lady 
Douro shall stand in front of you." 

It was to the Prince that the Queen's ladies owed 
the long hours of standing which fell to their lot, and 
of which there were sometimes whispers among the 
public that some poor woman had fallen in a faint at 
Her Majesty's feet through exhaustion. 

The Exhibition had brought to England rather a 
huge crowd of people than a number of notabilities, 
for the great had really frightened themselves with 
bogus fears. They preferred to come when the Queen 
could give them her whole attention, and she enter- 
tained a tremendous number of princes, relatives, and 
others from time to time. Sometimes they came to 
know and be known; sometimes with a hidden object, 
as when the young and ill-fated Portuguese princes 
were here with eyes upon our princesses. Victor 
Emanuel made a great stir, he was such a figure of a 
man, when, as King of Sardinia, he arrived in 1855. 

From a Painting by J. Hayter. 


The Queen said of him that he was more like a Knight 
of the Middle Ages than anything else; and the 
Duchess of Sutherland that he was the only knight of 
the many she had seen who looked as if he could have 
got the better of the dragon. He rode like a centaur, 
shot by moonlight, slept only two hours, going to bed 
at three and calling his staff up to talk and smoke with 
him at five : altogether a strange visitor for Windsor. 
The Queen bestowed the Garter upon him, and 
the better to show it off he donned white shorts, 
which, under a very short tunic, looked exactly like 

But though Victoria was the most affable hostess 
she did not bestow upon him the gift he came for, and 
that was the hand of the Princess Mary of Cambridge, 
who, from her beauty and royal carriage, was said to 
be the only woman of her circle who could make the 
Queen jealous on general grounds. The decision in 
this matter having been left to the Princess, she refused 
the offer on the plea of difference in religion. 

Among the stories of less important visitors is that 
of the Turkish Ambassador, who brought his wife to a 
Drawing Room wearing an ordinary Court dress 
which was the more remarkable as the Ambassador ap- 
peared in his national Court costume. The Turkish 
lady, the Princess Callimaki, held her husband's arm 
and threaded her way serenely through the diplomatic 
crowd, and it is not to the credit of the Court officials 
that she was not presented with the forms and cere- 
monies usual on the introduction of the wife of a 
Minister. I wonder whether the Queen, with her hard- 


and-fast ideas on custom concerning women, did not 
deplore the fact that here was a woman trying to shake 
off the bonds of barbarity. 

One self-invited visitor to these shores caused a 
tremendous row; this was the Austrian General 
Haynau, who had helped to suppress the Hungarians 
by hanging brave soldiers, burning houses with the 
inhabitants inside, shooting those who surrendered in 
good faith, and mercilessly flogging many people, some 
of them noblemen and two of them noble ladies, the 
husband of one, Herr von Madersback, who was forced 
to stand by and watch, being so maddened that he shot 

This man was in disgrace, even in Vienna, for his 
atrocities, being nicknamed General Hyena, yet he 
decided to visit England, and persisted in doing so, 
though in Brussels he was strongly warned against it. 

Among his amusements here he elected to go over 
Barclay's Brewery, and his first act on getting there 
with some friends was to write his name in the visitors' 
book. In two minutes it was known all over the place 
what kind of guest it was who had invited himself 
there, and as he was crossing one of the yards some 
workmen from a window threw down upon him a truss 
of straw. It was the signal for the rush of the other 
workmen into the yard, who flung grain and dirt upon 
the alarmed General, sweeping it up with brooms and 
shouting : " Down with the Austrian butcher ! " To 
quote from The Times, which constituted itself the 
General's champion and apologist : " He was covered 
with dirt, and perceiving some of the men about to 


attack him, ran into the street to Bank-side, followed 
by a large mob, consisting of the brewer's men, coal- 
heavers, and others, armed with all sorts of weapons, 
with which they belaboured the General. He ran in a 
frantic manner along Bank-side until he came to the 
George public house, where, forcing the doors open, he 
rushed in and proceeded upstairs into one of the bed- 
rooms, to the utter astonishment of the landlady." 
The furious mob rushed in after him, threatening to do 
for the " Austrian Butcher," but a police galley was at 
the wharf at the time, into which he was taken and 
rowed towards Somerset House amidst the shouts and 
execrations of the mob. 

Punch had, as may be imagined, much to say about 
this affair, and, as usual, added verse to comment, 
such as : 

" The Baron was seized with blue despair, 

And his teeth like a mill did clack, man ! 
Cries he ' Vere shall I ron ? ah, vere ! 

To esgabe vrom their addack, man? ' 
1 You blood-stained thing ! we'll make you feel, 

Though you may be dead to shame, man ! ' 
So, though in language less genteel, 

Cried Barclay and Perkins' draymen." 

This incident was an offence against hospitality; but 
it was also an offence against England that a man 
whose name was at the moment a byword in Europe 
for infamy should have come to her shores. Yet the 
spirit which allowed ladies to fawn around Nicholas 
was still abroad, and there were many attempts in 
aristocratic circles to whitewash Haynau. 

It is easy to believe that Palmerston's sympathies 


would not be with the General, and when he expressed 
to Austria the regret of the Government he ended his 
despatch with a remark condemning General Haynau's 
visit to England. He sent a draft of this to the Queen, 
who at once demanded the deletion of the last para- 
graph, and Palmerston replied that the despatch was 
already gone to Vienna. Victoria was very angry, com- 
plaining to Russell : " He clearly shows that he is not 
sorry for what has happened." Palmerston said in 
heat he would resign rather than alter his despatch, but 
eventually he recalled the letter and took out the 

It was the Queen's business to ensure friendly rela- 
tions with foreign countries, but there is something 
pitiful in the fact that a Sovereign must be ready to 
condone any chartered criminal of the rank of Haynau 
and privately pretend disgust if her people are more 
honest. That she should have written of " the brutal 
attack and wanton outrage committed by a ferocious 
mob on a distinguished foreigner of past seventy years 
of age " was going much too far. One can understand 
regretting as a matter of policy, but the man's age did 
not prevent his acts, nor did his position give him 
anything but an unenviable distinction. 

The Queen and the Prince had by this time become 
obsessed with Palmerston and his doings ; they saw that 
Russell was but a broken reed to lean upon as far as 
their policy was concerned, and their only safety-valve 
was in talking excitedly about the Foreign Minister to 
whomsoever was with them. Lord Clarendon dined 
with them one night, and " the moment he entered the 


drawing-room after dinner the Queen exploded," and 
most bitterly discussed Palmerston and all his ways. 
When she had talked herself out on the subject the 
Prince began, and as "he could not get in all he wanted 
to say in the evening, he asked Clarendon to go the 
next day, and then spent two and a half hours un- 
rolling the tale of the royal woes, with indignant 

Unfortunately, the Queen- Prince did not allow 
themselves the chance of being charmed by their 
Minister's pleasant manner, for though they wrote him 
long letters, and communicated through Russell, they 
otherwise ignored him. The last time the Prince ex~ 
postulated with him personally, Pam assured him most 
earnestly, " with tears in his eyes," that he had never 
had a disrespectful thought of the Queen; and this 
statement is borne out in his letters. He could not 
help knowing that his dual Monarch disliked him ; but 
if he knew of the petty feeling and rancour he passed 
it by without comment. As the French Ambassador 
said, "He was a daring pilot in extremity"; "and a 
most generous enemy," pronounced Cobden when 

As has been stated, for all the accusations against 
Palmerston, he kept England healthy and out of 
trouble for the five most dangerous years Europe ever 
passed through, when every country was sick with war 
fever. On the other hand, in a year or so of the rule 
which was so dear to the majestic heart, the Queen and 
her two peace Ministers, Derby and Aberdeen, failed 
and led us into war. 


On the one hand was the man who resolutely in- 
tended to keep peace and to do the best he could for 
his country, on the other was a dual Monarch intent on 
peace at any price, who spread their sympathetic care 
far over Europe, especially Germany, who raised their 
own dignity into a fetish and, above all things, desired 
to be rid of their Foreign Minister. 

Their love for Louis Philippe made them hate Louis 
Napoleon, and though they deplored French anarchy, 
they saw nothing in the coup d'etat but a vile action 
perpetrated by a dishonest, lying adventurer; while 
those who studied international politics realised that it 
brought a chance of peace to factious Paris and 
steadied Europe. 

At a party at Pam's house the coup d'etat was the 
one subject of conversation, and one Minister after 
another said what he thought about it to Walewski, the 
French Ambassador. Among them Palmerston uttered 
his approval of the event in an officious way, that is, as 
a private person. The next day Walewski communi- 
cated Pam's words to the French Minister in Paris, 
who told Normanby, the English Ambassador, and 
Lady Normanby wrote long accounts of everything that 
happened in the Embassy to Colonel Phipps, Master 
of the Queen's Household, that her letters should be 
shown to the Queen. None of these communications 
was official, and Palmerston's words were well 
coloured by the time they had reached Victoria, whose 
anger made her ready to clutch at any straw. Her 
constant agitations and demands for help had already 
so upset John Russell's nerves that he was ready to do 


anything to get out of an unbearable situation; so he 
wrote to Palmerston saying that he had committed the 
Government by what he said to Walewski, and that he 
himself must advise the Queen to bestow the seals else- 
where, concluding his letter with : " Although I have 
the misfortune to differ from you in minor questions, I 
am deeply convinced that the policy which has been 
pursued has maintained the interests and the honour 
of the country." In his next letter he offered him the 
Lord-Lieutenancy of Ireland, upon which Pam natur- 
ally pointed out that such an offer was in itself a 
refutation of the charges of imprudence and in- 

The ironic point in the proceedings was that Lord 
John had himself expressed a like opinion to 
Walewski at the same time as Pam, as also had Lord 
Lansdowne, Charles Wood, and Lord Grey. As Lord 
Malmesbury, Pam's successor, said : " Old diploma- 
tists must know the difference between an officious and 
an official conversation. The first is a free interchange 
of opinions between the two Ministers and compro- 
mises neither." 

The pretext of the dismissal was as flimsy as the 
joy of the Queen-Prince was unbounded. In a letter 
to his brother, Albert said : 

"And now the year closes with the happy circum- 
stance for us that the man who embittered our whole 
life, by continually placing before us the shameful 
alternative of either sanctioning his misdeeds through- 
out Europe and rearing up the Radical party here to 
a power under his leadership, or of bringing about an 


open conflict with the Crown, and thus plunging the 
only country where liberty, order, and lawfulness exist 
together into the general chaos that this man has, 
as it were, cut his own throat. 'Give a rogue rope 
enough, and he will hang himself ' is an old English 
adage with which we have sometimes tried to console 
ourselves, and which has proved true again here." 

And yet in this fulfilment of their desires lay the 
greatest tragedy of their joint reign. 

As for Europe, it stood at first amazed at the fall 
of Palmerston, then the countries all sang their own 
paeans of joy. Austria rushed into the arms of Russia, 
and they embraced with emotion; Greece all but 
melted on the shoulder of the two Sicilies. It was a 
triumph for Absolutism, a blow for the peoples. The 
Prussians sang in the streets doggerel to this effect : 

" Has the Devil any son, 
Sure then he is Palmerston." 

Our English Minister in Madrid resigned his post, 
saying he could no longer be of use there, as Spain 
believed that concession had been made to the re- 
actionary spirit. The Orleans family were as pleased 
as the English sovereigns, and all alike believed that 
English policy would in the future be a very lady- 
like, very peace-at-any-price, .very simple, very blind 
policy, as, alas ! it turned out to be. 

Some time earlier the Queen had put before Lord 
John the principles, written out for her and Albert by 
Stockmar, to which she desired her Foreign Minister 
to conform broadly, that she should know to what 


she gave her sanction, and that, having given her 
sanction, nothing should afterwards be altered. This 
sounds fair, but it did not express her meaning, for 
every incident in the long dispute shows that she 
wanted to dictate the policy, not only to sanction it, 
to alter letters to her liking, to refuse to send them 
if she did not like them, a great danger when the ruler 
is so distinctly a party person. This document she 
caused Russell to read in Parliament after Pam's dis- 
missal, much to the latter's disgust. 

The Queen- Prince were utterly amusing when 
the former wrote to Russell demanding that, now that 
they had got rid of Palmerston, they should specific- 
ally define English policy abroad, and draw up general 
principles which could be adapted to different states, 
and a regular programme defining England's relation 
with each country. Such a demand, which could only 
have emanated directly or indirectly from Stockmar's 
doctrinaire mind, makes one gasp with amazement. 
That Russell was said to "look overburdened and 
worried to death " is not to be wondered at, and gave 
excuse for a comic paper to announce : 

"There was a little man, and he had a little head, 
And he said, ' My little head, let us try, try, try, 

If we can't with all my pains, 

And my little, little brains, 
Subdue the world under you and I, I, I. 

The little head it ached and the little man he quaked, 
And away they went to work together, gether, gether, 

But so feeble was their will, 

And so little was their skill, 
That they got into very stormy weather, eather, eather." 


The stormy weather came in four weeks, when 
Palmerston's amendment to the Militia Bill was 
carried, and Lord John resigned. Of this Pam wrote 
to his brother : 

" I have had my tit-for-tat with John Russell, and 
I turned him out on Friday last. I certainly, however, 
did not expect to do so, nor did I intend to do anything 
more than to persuade the House to reject his foolish 
plan and to adopt a more sensible one. 5 ' 

The feeling of England on Pam's dismissal was 
deep ; the people felt that the only strong man we had 
had been thrown aside to suit those whose sympathies 
were with the crowned heads of Europe, and who 
would sacrifice a whole people to the majesty of 
royalty. The Prince, naturally, was blamed, and the 
Queen was suspected of being entirely influenced by 
him, as, indeed, she was, and a deadly public feeling 
of anger began to grow against Albert. 

Victoria always bitterly resented the fact that Albert 
was accused of a German bias in English politics, yet 
the accusation was true, for hidden behind the throne 
stood Stockmar, the adorer of Prussia, ready always 
to respond with advice and direction to the appeals 
of the Royal couple. He was perfectly honest, and 
could not help it that his leanings were all to Germany 
and monarchy, and his pupils could not imagine that 
his views did not suit England, nor that they them- 
selves sometimes had their loyalty to England clouded 
by their deference to his advice and by their family 

As soon as Palmerston was banished from Europe, 


Nicholas of Russia began to stretch his fist over 
Turkey ; the Duke of Wellington was dead and could 
not reason with him; Palmerston could not threaten 
him; of Lord Malmesbury, a young untried man, who 
was put in the Foreign Office because he was quite 
unlikely to differ from his Queen, he had no fear ; and 
Lord Derby, who became Prime Minister, was a negli- 
gible quantity. Only Pam in his back seat foresaw 
that trouble was coming, and no one would listen to 
him now. He would have smiled if he had known 
that Victoria-Albert, in the Queen's name, of course, 
sternly rebuked Malmesbury for allowing a Protocol 
(of which they had not heard) to be signed between 
England, Austria, Prussia, and Russia; and later 
scolded Aberdeen and Russell for holding a conversa- 
tion with Louis Napoleon ; and Charles Wood for not 
sending the drafts of letters until weeks after they 
had been written. Victoria had no realisation of 
how near she was getting to a desire for despotic 

Derby's Government did not last long, and then 
Aberdeen came in at the head of a coalition, and the 
Queen demanded that Palmerston should not be given 
the Home Office. However, Ministers, like school- 
boys, have to play fair with each other, and as Pam 
refused to take the Foreign Office again, that was the 
only post he could have. 

Nicholas was still happy, for Aberdeen, the Conces- 
sionist, was at the English helm he who had con- 
ceded so much to Guizot as to make him feel justified 
in the Spanish marriages affair, and who later had given 

A A 


such vague promises to Nicholas at Windsor that he 
was certain that under Aberdeen's guidance we would 
not oppose him in Turkey. 

Into the Crimean War itself I cannot enter. It was 
at first a Franco-Russian quarrel over the keys of the 
Holy Sepulchre, and at various stages Russia moved 
its army a little nearer Constantinople. Every time 
Russia moved, England started and shook herself, 
and then lay down again, growling "Wait and see." 
This began as soon as Aberdeen took office, and for 
over a year the occasional spasms and wait-and-see 
policy continued. When it was suggested to Aberdeen 
that a bold course would meet with general approval, 
his answer was quite Queen-like : " In a case of this 
kind I dread popular support." 

"What matter if Russia a sea-board obtain? 
Never mind till our navy she sweeps from the main, 
Which I hope she won't do, if we just cease to brag, 
And to sing Rule Britannia; and lower our flag. 
Let us learn to be meek and submissive and tame, 
And in time perhaps Commerce may make her the same." 

So while England was waiting, afraid to enter the 
back door as friends, the Russians had taken forcible 
possession of the front hall, as Palmerston said, and 
Aberdeen made the futile rejoinder that though 
Russia's first offensive action was indefensible, still, 
as the Emperor had made no declaration of war, we 
were not justified in doing anything. The "Vienna 
Note" was drafted, elaborated, sent to every big 
Power, altered, sent back to each Power, and, being 
trimmed exactly to suit Russia, was after some months 


of travel given the quietus by Turkey. Such a safe, 
conciliatory policy ! one which forced Albert to say, 
when more than a year had been thus spent : " Aber- 
deen has, unfortunately, made concessions which bring 
us nearer war." But the Emperor still did not believe 
that we would fight. 

When Russia destroyed the Turkish fleet at Sinope, 
Palmerston, sick of his struggle to put pluck into his 
colleagues, took the excuse of the Reform Bill and 
resigned, upon which Aberdeen went with great 
alacrity down to Windsor with the resignation, and 
announced it in The Times, it being said that " certain 
personages were glad once more to shake off their 
obnoxious minister." 

Then, while Palmerston was out of office, Aberdeen 
followed the course he had been urging upon him all 
along, and Palmerston withdrew his resignation. 

All England was jealously waiting and watching; 
Punch gave us Nicholas as a clown trying to stuff a 
turkey into his capacious pockets and crying to Police- 
men France and England : " I don't mean any harm, 
gentlemen ! " The more serious papers wrote of the 
dangers to our trade of Russian occupation of the 
Black Sea and the Mediterranean; and the popular 
suspicion of the Prince burst into a roaring flame. 
This suspicion having sprung into active life with 
Pam's dismissal, had gathered strength with the 
painful tension of the year of academic reasoning and 
inactivity, and it swept through the land, emanating 
from all classes. Roebuck accused Albert to the Duke 
of Newcastle of holding the keys to many mysteries, 

A A 2 


and papers came out with condemnations and ques- 
tions, such as the following from Diogenes : 

"Did you, Albert, cancel instructions prepared by 
the Ministers at home for Lord Stratford at Constan- 
tinople ? despatch a Minister on your own account to 
the East, charging him to contradict the despatches 
of the Ministry ? warn the Russian Ambassador of the 
contemplated movement of the combined fleets in the 
Black Sea? Is it true that you have a third key to 
the Queer's Despatch Box, that you open the box 
before the Queen sees it, and alter the despatches 
intended for foreign Ambassadors? that you receive 
important communications from Courts abroad rela- 
tive to our foreign policy, which you do not show to 
Ministers ? that you make alterations in the despatches 
of the Foreign Secretary before they are forwarded to 
the Courts for which they are intended? that you 
interfere at the Horse Guards to an extent which has 
excited general surprise and condemnation? that you 
exercise an influence over the patronage of the State, 
which is most injurious to the public service, as well 
as contrary to the spirit of the Constitution ? that you 
dined off a turkey on Christmas Day, drank the health 
of the Czar, and led the chorus, c For he's a jolly good 
fellow'? 5 ' 

Thousands of people stood round the Tower one 
day to see the Prince taken there, and some said the 
Queen was to accompany him. When he did not 
arrive, the cry was that he was not to be imprisoned, 
because the Queen had declared she would share his 


So fierce and prolonged was this hysteria over the 
Prince that the most influential people in the land had 
to refute it, and Gladstone wrote a sensible letter in 
the Morning Chronicle. People accused the Prince 
of attending the Privy Council ! Well, about sixty 
other men were also present, and no secrets were 
talked; he was accused of being present when Her 
Majesty gave audience to Ministers, and Gladstone's 
reply was : " We desired that our Queen should take 
a husband who was virtuous, prudent, and intelligent. 
She took one who was also accomplished, informed, 
able, and energetic. ... In Prince Albert, high 
natural abilities have been improved by singularly 
careful and assiduous culture, to a rare point of excel- 
lence. ... Is it right, is it natural, is it possible, that 
a wife so charged with labour and with care should 
debar herself of the assistance of a husband so en- 
dowed ! We are certain that the voice of England 
will answer in the negative." 

The matter was brought forward in both Houses 
on the last day of January, 1854, when the Queen 
opened Parliament. The crowds in the streets to see 
her pass were immense, and it was feared that she and 
her husband might be badly received; but though 
there was hissing, good humour generally prevailed. 

Lord John defended the Prince in the Commons, 
and so good a case was made out that the wildness 
of abuse died down, but not until the war was quite 
concluded did gossip about the Prince's wickedness 
really die out. 

How the Queen suffered through all this may be 


imagined ! she who fastened with avidity upon every 
shred of evidence that Albert was appreciated well, 
had to see him overwhelmed with absurd accusations. 
He, too, looked anxious and ill, though he said lightly : 
"If our courage and cheerfulness have not suffered, 
our stomachs and digestion have, as they commonly 
do when the feelings are kept long on the stretch." 

As soon as Victoria-Albert and Aberdeen had made 
up their minds, they were keenly anxious that the 
quickest and best methods should be followed. But 
there were grave defects at the War Office, and they 
were not surprised when the Government was turned 
out in February on a motion to inquire into the conduct 
of the war. The Queen's emotions at this crisis were 
too deep for tears, for she saw no one fit to lead the 
legislative assembly : a most characteristic and yet 
Albertian judgment ! She knew that Lord Derby was 
not strong enough to guide events, yet because his 
views pleased her she sent for him. Though he was 
a Tory, and thought Pam the worst man in England, 
besides, as he told his Sovereign, being blind, deaf, 
and old, he was obliged to add that the whole country 
cried out for him as the only man able to carry on 
the war with success, and that he must be in the 
Government if France was to retain any confidence 
in England. Yet, as Stockmar had impressed upon 
Albert- Victoria that Palmerston was mad, and as they 
were ready to believe anything against him, they were 
driven to desperation in their desire to avoid him. 

Abroad, England was being laughed at as having 
neither army nor government; and Walewski wrote 


personally to Albert telling him that, as far as France 
was concerned, Palmerston and Clarendon were 
absolutely essential to any Ministry that might be 

Lord Derby failed, Lord Lansdowne was ap- 
proached and refused, and then Lord John was sum- 
moned; in fact, the agitated rulers tried every side- 
path they could think of rather than tread the hard 
high road ; yet they knew that Palmerston was the only 
man who could bind together the vacillating members 
of any government that could be formed, for all were 
afraid of the responsibility of the war. So for six 
days the business of the country was at a standstill, 
while all the world wondered. 

Then the Queen-Prince made the best of a terrible 
situation they sent for Palmerston, and promised to 
extend to him as Prime Minister the confidence they 
had shown his predecessors. But what a bitter draught 
it must have been ! 

So the strong man had to do his utmost to repair 
the mistakes of his dual Sovereign and their Ministers 
and help the weary war to drag its lamentable way to 
its ineffective ending. 

Punch marked the event by publishing a cartoon 
of The Dirty Doorstep. Upon the door-plate is in- 
scribed "Aberdeen, Newcastle & Co." and the step 
is heaped with blunders, routine, precedent, incapacity, 
higgledy-piggledy, delay, twaddle, and disorder. Palm- 
erston, an active lad with a broom, says : " Well ! 
this is the greatest mess I ever saw at anybody's 
door," to which Johnny, an urchin, replies, " I lived 


there once but I was obliged to leave it was such 
a very irregular family/' 

Once in power, Palmerston's energetic action, his 
care for the soldiers and insistence upon better regu- 
lations at the war centre, wrung from the Queen a 
reluctant gratitude, so that in 1856 she conferred upon 
him the Order of the Garter. His presence also at 
once altered the attitude of Russia, which for the 
first time showed a desire to propitiate England. Had 
he been at the helm at first prompt action would have 
shown Nicholas exactly what to expect, and every 
evidence goes to prove that there would have been 
no war. 

For more than two years Victoria-Albert had had 
absolute power in foreign affairs. They had proved 
that the policy of talkee-talkee in the then state of 
Europe was a dead failure, yet they learnt nothing 
from it they only plumed themselves upon having 
tried by every means to avert the struggle. Sir 
Theodore Martin's book is a lasting monument to 
Royal incapacity for truly estimating a question from 
all sides. It is natural, though sad, for Royal eyes 
are bandaged by isolation and tradition. Another 
King like Albert, intellectually certain that active 
power should be his, would for ever destroy monarchy 
in England, and, indeed, had Albert lived long and 
clung to the same privileges, that struggle would have 
come about long ere this. 

As for Nicholas, the war killed him, for in 1855 
came the sudden news : " The Emperor Nicholas died 
this morning of pulmonary apoplexy after an attack 


of influenza." He had passed through agonies at the 
reverses of his troops, and the previous day he had 
received news of the defeat at Eupatoria, which so 
affected him that he died a few hours later in delirium. 
He had once declared in a speech that "Russia 
has two Generals in whom she can confide, Generals 
Janvier and Fevrier." Punctis celebrated cartoon 
shows General Fevrier laying his icy hand on the 
Czar's heart and causing its eternal stillness. 



WHILE rumours of war were in the air the Queen 
took a great interest in her soldiers, attending military 
displays, at which she wore military clothes. When 
the soldiers marched away the Royal Family would 
be on the balcony of Buckingham Palace at seven 
in the morning to see them pass ; or from Osborne lead 
them on the Fairy out to sea, or see them off at 
Portsmouth, the Prince generously giving each officer 
a sealskin coat, and to each soldier a sheepskin. 
Victoria, with her usual enthusiasm, gushed over the 
men, " loving my dear, brave army as I do ! " " Our 
beautiful Guards sail to-morrow." " I am so fond of 
my dear soldiers, so -proud of them ! " 

When the poor wounded and disabled things began 
to come back in 1855 Her Majesty had a grand display 
in St. James's Park, and gave them medals with her 
own hands, uttering kindly words to each; and she 
watched again from the balcony the triumphant 
return of the broken, shabby and reduced Guards, and 
then drove to Hyde Park to pass them under review. 

In May of that year the Victoria Cross was struck, 



and the Queen, dressed in a red tunic and purple 
skirt, publicly in the park pinned the new order on 
the breasts of sixty-two heroes. Her own characteristic 
comment upon this in a letter to her uncle runs : " From 
the highest Prince of the Blood to the lowest private, 
all received the same distinction for the bravest 
conduct in the severest actions, and the rough hand of 
the brave and honest -private soldier came for the 
first time in contact with that of their Sovereign and 
Queen ! Noble fellows ! I own I feel as if they were 
my own children; my heart beats for them as for my 
nearest and dearest. They were so touched, so 
pleased; many, I hear, cried." 

These are words which in the light of the general 
belief in Queen Victoria's greatness come as a shock. 
They are not the words of one who is absorbed in 
the woes and sorrows of others, or of one who 
possesses judgment. Had a girl uttered them one 
would have hoped that years would bring balance and 
breadth, but from a woman of thirty-six ! They show 
her childishly carried away by her emotions and remind 
me of Lord Aberdeen's penetrating remark to Nassau 
Senior : 

" The Queen entered into the war with horror, she 
soon got to like it very much." 

It was so. In her activities over the soldiers she 
enjoyed a personal Queenship which never before had 
been hers, and she felt that everything she did in 
honouring them reflected glory upon herself. She 
and her husband were busy, happily busy, going into 
camp at Aldershot, going down to Chatham, taking 


large parties of visiting Royalties with them, talking 
with the men, attending their theatricals, making 
speeches to them, gaily interested and always in the 
public eye. The soldiers were happy and honoured, 
and the Queen was happy in the daily excitement and 
the public adulation being poured upon her for the 
way in which she sacrificed ( ! ) herself. 

The war did something else, it cemented temporarily 
a friendship between Napoleon and Victoria, and 
gave her further exercise for enthusiasm. As has 
been said, Victoria-Albert for a long time refused 
to recognise the new French Emperor, and Louis 
Napoleon desired nothing so much as their recogni- 
tion, giving a proof of this when, being made to under- 
stand how strong was Palmerston's feeling against 
the Suez Canal, he replied to Lord Clarendon : " If 
you say no more on the subject I will take care that 
my people shall let it drop." 

Napoleon had been received nowhere with open 
arms. When the Czar wrote to him he addressed him, 
not with the kingly " Mon Frere," but with the lesser 
title of " Mon Ami," which made the sharp-tongued 
Frenchman reply : " How condescending ! A brother 
is forced upon one, a friend one can choose ! " Which, 
however, scarcely agreed with the spirit of the cartoon 
which showed him kneeling to Nicholas saying : " Am 
I not a man and a brother?" That he did not 
forgive the insult and all it implied showed itself when 
he joined England in its war against Russia. 

Though our Government insisted upon the expedi- 
ency of recognising Napoleon, Victoria-Albert would 


have none of him, and set their faces against his marry- 
ing the half-niece of the Queen, the daughter of 
Princess Feodore. 

Then, hoping to conciliate England, Napoleon pro- 
mised friendship to Leopold, urging him to help him 
with Victoria; next he invited Ernest of Coburg to 
Paris, and with him the Empress discussed the Queen- 
Prince; she talked of their beautiful domestic life, of 
the virtues of the Queen and her Consort, of the purity 
of their Court; apparently nothing could exceed her 
admiration of the English royalties. 

Such praise all dutifully repeated was the short- 
est road to Victoria's heart; and though she looked 
askance upon the suggestion of a marriage between 
Jerome and Princess Mary, drawing the rude remark 
from Pam that Jerome was preferable to a German 
princeling, she was distinctly mollified. Then Leo- 
pold's admonitions, her councillors' strong opinion that 
it must be friendship or enmity, and their assertion 
that her attitude meant danger to her country, made her 
consent to recognise the Emperor as her brother. 

Napoleon replied by addressing Prince Albert as 
"Mon Frere," and asked them both to Boulogne to 
see his troops. Albert alone could accept, but he 
carried with him a letter to the Empress from the 
Queen, which put a seal upon the friendship. When 
Albert left her, Victoria, lamenting that she had only 
once been so long separated from him since her mar- 
riage, laid commands upon his suite that the most 
minute and constant details of EVERYTHING that passed 
should be sent her, commands which were faithfully 


obeyed. The Prince, treated to the same comforting 
prescription of deference and flattery, thoroughly 
enjoyed his four days abroad. He was the great per- 
sonage for once, and there were no fetching and 
carrying for him to do, no prompt obedience demanded 
to petty commands, which in itself must have con- 
stituted a holiday. 

In April, 1855, Napoleon and Eugenie came to 
England on a visit to Victoria-Albert, and our people 
received them with acclaim, as eager to welcome them 
as was the thoroughly converted Queen. Of their 
arrival at Windsor she says : " I embraced the Em- 
peror, who received two salutes on either cheek from 
me, having first kissed my hand. I next embraced the 
very gentle, graceful, and evidently very nervous 
Empress, and then we went upstairs, Albert leading the 
Empress, who, in the most engaging manner, refused to 
go first, but at length with great reluctance did so, the 
Emperor leading me, expressing his great gratification 
at being here and seeing me, and admiring Windsor." 

Here the Emperor received his passport into 
society, the Blue Ribbon, and it is said that his look 
of triumph on this occasion was a thing not to be 

There was a State visit to the City, the London 
people going mad over the visitors and flocking in 
awful crowds into the streets. At the opera fifty, eighty, 
and even a hundred guineas were paid for boxes, and it 
was hard to secure a stall at ten guineas. All this must 
have been a wonderful and triumphant experience 
for the man who had often been penniless in 


London and in the lower quarters of Continental 

The Royal children fell in love with the Empress, 
and were never out of her room ; and when she left, she, 
they, and someone says the whole French suite, 
were dissolved into tears. The Queen gave her 
" sister" at parting a veritable Victorian gift, a bracelet 
containing some of her hair ! 

When, the following August, Victoria, Albert, and 
the two eldest children went to France, the Emperor 
refurnished Versailles for them, masking the fortifica- 
tions with flowers. He met them at Boulogne, and 
going through Amiens and Abbeville they unfor- 
tunately arrived two hours late in Paris, so that French 
hopes had somewhat cooled in the darkness, though 
one courtier told the Queen that such enthusiasm had 
not been shown in Paris even at the great triumph of 
Napoleon I. a pretty piece of French politeness, 
though the Queen accepted it as fact. 

Among the notabilities they met Bismarck, and the 
Princess Royal for the first time saw the man who was 
to rob her life of half its brightness. One day our 
Royal pair took a remise at the Embassy gate, and 
drove privately through the streets and the Jardin des 
Plantes, no one recognising them. They made a senti- 
mental journey in state to the tomb of James II., and 
a complimentary one to that of Napoleon I., at the 
latter bidding the Prince of Wales kneel. "A 
thunderstorm broke out at the moment, and the impres- 
sive scene moved to tears the French generals who 
were present." 


Both Queen and Prince were treated most royally, 
and the former left France with all her feelings about 
her host entirely reversed. She wrote of Napoleon's 
frankness, his sincere, straightforward conduct, of his 
fascinating, melancholy, engaging ways, " so quiet, so 
simple, naif even, so pleased to be informed about 
things which he does not know, so gentle, so full of 
tact, dignity, and modesty, so full of respect and kind 
attention towards us. ... Then he is so fond of 
Albert, appreciates him so thoroughly and shows him 
so much confidence." 

What a paragon Napoleon seems to have appeared, 
and yet a little earlier the Royal pair had been horrified 
over his perfidy. 

This visit led to one very disagreeable incident for 
Victoria, in the shape of an insulting letter to her by 
a French refugee in London named Felix Pyat, who 
won ephemeral fame in the Parisian whirlpool of 1871. 
He wrote this letter for distribution among the French 
around him, and then sent it to UHomme, a little paper 
started in Jersey by men exiled by Napoleon, among 
them being Victor Hugo. After begging Victoria to 
remember the fate of Charles I., this effusion ran as 
follows : " The Emperor kissed your hand. God save 
the Queen ! You have given Canrobert a bath, 1 drunk 
champagne, and kissed Jerome. You felt a need to 
escape a little from all these great men and all those 
beautiful things, and one morning, being languid, 
abimee with admiration and delight, no longer a Queen, 
but a woman, a daughter of Eve, like a plain gossip of 
1 Alluding to the bestowal of the Order of the Bath. 


Windsor, you took a cab by the hour with your man 
and your children, and went to rest in the Jardin des 
Plantes with the trees and the beasts of the good God. 
You have tasted and enjoyed all the pleasure, the 
poetry, the light, the perfumes, and the strength of 
France. (Had you possessed another sense you could 
not have enjoyed more.) You could not have had too 
much in another sense. You have sacrificed every- 
thing, dignity as a Queen, the scruples of a woman, 
the pride of the aristocrat, English sentiment, rank, 
race, sex, all, even shame, for love of this ally ! To- 
day when you are thoroughly refreshed and calm, re- 
turned to your home, having regained your sang-froid, 
your tea, your butter and your reason, now, Madam, 
what does this visit signify? What did you go to do 
at this man's home ? Certainly you, an honest woman, 
that is to say as honest as a Queen can be, did not go 
to see the ruffian of the Haymarket." 

This letter procured the banishment of all concerned 
Victor Hugo included from Jersey. It was re- 
published in the English Press with indignation, 
but beyond the annoyance it caused did little harm. 

The Queen could never really fathom the character 
of her new French ally, but he quite correctly gauged 
hers, and when there was disagreement over the close 
of the Crimean War he was clever enough to beg a 
consultation with her personally. So he and Eugenie 
went to Osborne for four days, and by reason of his 
persuasive tongue and Victoria's impressionability he 
successfully won all he wanted. Then before leaving 
he invited his hosts to run over to Cherbourg 

B B 


at their leisure and see his new arensal and 

It was rather a funny situation, Napoleon laying his 
hand on his heart, protesting his lasting friendship and 
esteem after having secured his own terms, and then 
saying, " Come, my dear sister, come and see the 
splendid arrangements I am making to add to 
my power of attacking and giving you a good 

So, with six children on board, they in the Victoria 
and Albert slipped over to Cherbourg one day, and 
anchored off the French coast for .the night. It was 
said to be an incognito visit, but at 8.30 the next 
morning the fortresses saluted, and Generals came to 
escort the Royal party to land. Of the works Victoria 
said : 

" It made me very unhappy to see what is done here, 
and how well protected the works are, for the forts 
and the breakwater (which is triple the size of the 
Plymouth one) are extremely well defended." 

In the afternoon the Prince arranged a long drive 
into the country, and they went as far as the ruins of 
Briquebec, where a little incident happened which, 
though too insignificant for the Queen to record in the 
" Life," was more interesting than all the rest. 1 The 
cure came to offer Her Majesty a sketch done by a 
pauvre brave bonhomme who was wandering through 
Normandy, named Jean Francois Millet. On seeing 
it the Prince exclaimed, " That man is a born artist ! " 
and admired the little picture greatly, which after its 
1 Tales of My Father, by A. M. F. 


" gracious acceptance " was given to the Princess Royal 
as a memento of the visit. 

The Orsini outrage badly strained the friendship 
between Napoleon and the English Court, for Orsini 
had gone straight from London to throw his three 
bombs at the Imperial carriage, from the ruins of which 
Napoleon and Eugenie walked as by a miracle. 
France went into hysterics over la per fide Albion, and 
its colonels shook their swords in our faces in an article 
in Le Moniteur, when they wrote : 

" Let the miserable assassins, the subaltern agents 
of such crimes, receive the chastisement due to their 
abominable attempts ; but also let the infamous haunt 
(London) where machinations so infernal are planned 
be destroyed for ever. Give us the order, Sire ! " 

A demand was also made by France that England 
should refuse to give free asylum to French exiles, and 
Palmerston, agreeing with the Queen that some con- 
cession might be offered, brought in a Bill making 
conspiracy to murder a felony and not a misdemeanour. 
It was not much of a concession, and it was a just one, 
but the English were furious with the extravagant 
threats of the French; so John Russell and the Liberals 
turned against Palmerston, saying that he was truckling 
to French aggression, and defeated his measure by 
nineteen votes. 

And so at last came the wonderful event of the 
Queen clinging to her old enemy, begging him not to 
resign. But Palmerston could not do as she wished, 
seeing that he had been turned out by his own col- 
leagues, and the Queen lost for a time the man 

B B 2 


whom she now acknowledged as necessary to her sense 
of security. 

These events made the state visit to Cherbourg in 
1857 most uncomfortable for all the Royal people. 
Napoleon was angry over Orsini, and more angry over 
the temper of the English people, openly asking the 
Queen whether they were as prejudiced against him 
as ever. He made a terrific Victoria felt almost a 
threatening display as her yacht neared the harbour, 
for first a single gun was fired, then came the salute 
from gun after gun, running along each tier like a train 
of fire, then all the forts fired in volleys of eight at 
once, as fast as they could. The ring of fire came 
not only from the town, but from far into the country, 
up among little ravines, at the top of picuresque 
eminences, where it might have been fancied only rural 
villas and cottages could exist, around clumps of trees, 
and from the sides of cornfields : such a cannonade as 
had probably never before been offered for a visitor 
of peace. 

The French cried Vivas for the Emperor, the Em- 
press, the Prince Imperial, and the Queen of England, 
" which I dislike so much," said the Queen pathetically, 
seeing that the Prince was not included in the popular 
commendation. She endured, too, a terrible quart 
d'heure when her beloved had to make a speech, for 
she felt the situation to be grave, and knew that every 
word would be searched for latent meanings by every 
diplomatist and journalist in Europe. " I sat shaking, 
with my eyes clones sur la table. However, the speech 
did very well." 


But through the two days the Emperor did not regain 
his cheerfulness, and the Queen found little comfort 
from his remark on parting that that very day (August 
6th) a hundred years earlier the English had bom- 
barded Cherbourg. 

The Queen shuddered at the idea that Napoleon 
was fortifying himself against England, and thought 
over her military commanders with doubt. The one 
man in whom she would have confided the Duke of 
Wellington had died in 1852. His successor as Com- 
mander-in-Chief, Lord Hardinge, had in 1855 fallen 
at her feet in a fit at Aldershot, and died a few weeks 
later. He was followed by George, Duke of 
Cambridge, and in him was no help. Yet he was 
her own choice, she believing that through him she 
could still keep the army under the control of the 

Wellington was a greater loss than she knew, for 
he had always kept his independence and was a curb 
upon her tendency to autocracy over those near her, 
and she regarded him in an almost filial way. One 
night, when sitting near her listening to music, he fell 
asleep, and when Victoria rose, all rose also but the 
Duke. Her Majesty laughed and tapped him on the 
shoulder with her bouquet, which awoke him ; she then 
made him a profound courtesy, and taking his arm in 
a kind, affectionate manner, drew him into the drawing- 
room for coffee. 

It was said that the Queen was responsible for the 
rumour that he intended to marry Miss Burdett-Coutts, 
for while he was dining at the Palace one night the 


conversation turned upon that lady, and Victoria 
remarked to the Duke that he really ought to marry 
her, it would be such a good match in everyway. This 
caused a general laugh, but, as a matter of fact, the 
Duke, who was even in his age something of a gallant, 
did pay much attention to that lady, astonishing the 
world by his intimacy with her, " with whom he passes 
his life, and all sorts of reports have been rife of his 
intention to marry her," said one of the Grevilles. 
The Observer even came out with a detailed announce- 
ment of the marriage settlements, and then the 
rumour passed and was forgotten. 

One of the proudest moments of this veteran's life 
was when he was asked to sit for a statue which was 
to be put up in some public place. He was a modest 
man in spite of the plaudits always showered upon 
him, but he dearly loved appreciation, and, though he 
hesitated, it was but to consent with something like 
emotion. The statue was made by M. C. Wyatt of guns 
taken by the Duke in war, and when it was finished 
it measured twenty-seven feet in height, and weighed 
about fifty tons. It was fixed in its place on the top 
of the arch at Apsley Gate among cheering crowds, 
with Royalty to look on, but, alas ! the crowds who 
came to admire began to laugh, for the statue was un- 
graceful, badly made, and out of all proportion with 
its resting-place. 

The old warrior was much hurt by the talk in the 
Clubs and the ever-recurring newspaper comments 
upon it, such as " an unsightly monster left until called 
for in Piccadilly," or a suggestion that its true resting 


place was Guy's Hospital. To the gibing verses there 
was no end : 

"Ride a cock horse 

The archway across, 

And see a big gentleman on a bronze horse. 
Badly he shows 
From his nose to his toes, 
But how we can better it nobody knows." 

But he felt the sharpest grief when it was announced 
that the Queen had decided that the statue should 
be removed; upon which decision the satiric papers 
declared that Her Majesty felt it to be contrary to 
her state and dignity to allow the effigy of the Duke 
to stand over the arch under which she drove. The 
poor Duke was all the time in such an uncontrollable 
state of irritation that people dared not speak to him 
about it, and he wrote to Croker that people " must 
be idiots to suppose it possible that a man who is 
working day and night, without any object in view 
but the public benefit, will not be sensible of a dis- 
grace inflicted upon him by the Sovereign and Govern- 
ment whom he is serving. The ridicule will be felt 
if nothing else is ! " 

As soon as the Queen knew the state of mind of 
her faithful servant in this matter she countermanded 
the preceding order, only regretting that the monument 
should be so unworthy of the great personage to whose 
honour it had been erected. 

Wellington was such a public idol that there was 
much criticism of the Queen-Prince because they did 
not return to London at his death, and because the 
Prince did not attend the funeral : 


"He cares not, what cares he? for funeral or pall 
Who could sleep his last sleep without coffin at all ! 
But if you must give him a burial in state, 
And make living pride on dead rottenness wait, 
Then do it in earnest, and not in a sham, 
And stand there chief mourner, my royal Madame ; " 

was an anonymous expression of feeling, to which a 
further verse makes the Queen reply to the re- 
proaches of the warrior's ghost : 

"My conscience acquits me, sans peur, sans reproche, 
For I sent to attend you my coachman and coach 
And six spanking bays : and my Alby to-day 
From his best Durham's calving I made stay away, 
To do you more honour ; and out at the show 
Looked myself from the window of Buckingham Row. 
And I hope that my people all saw in my eye 
The tear that stood glittering there as you went by." 

Austria took a petty revenge for the row over 
Haynau by refusing to send a representative to the 

So there was no Duke, and no one of his standing, 
to strengthen the Royal two in their intangible fear 
of the warlike intentions of the Emperor, nor to advise 
them upon the horrible Indian Mutiny. When the 
first news of the rebellion in the East reached them 
they seemed at once to foresee that it meant tragic 
things. They had already become unnerved about 
the state of the Army, weakened as it was by the war, 
and fretted continually that new forces could not be 
raised at a minute's notice. They wrote daily, some- 
times twice a day, to their Prime Minister, urging 
speed, one suggestion following hard upon another, 
until Palmerston remarked in reply that measures 


sometimes were most likely to succeed which followed 
each other step by step, and ended one letter by saying 
that it was very fortunate for him that the Queen was 
not on the Opposition side of the House, the sarcastic 
meaning of which did not penetrate her consciousness. 

They were just as anxious, after their visit to 
Cherbourg, to strengthen the English naval defences, 
for Napoleon continued to increase both army and 
navy, while Victoria-Albert grew more arrd more 
uneasy as to his aims. Then he declared his alliance 
with Victor Emanuel, and his intention to back a 
united Italy. This was something of a relief, though 
fear was turned to anger, for the Queen- Prince's 
sympathies were all on the side of Austria against 
Italy, and the anger grew loud and deep when 
Napoleon said he wanted Nice and Savoy as payment. 
As Prussia at the same time was trembling about its 
Rhine borderland, a French paper wittily summed 
up the situation by declaring : 

" La Reine d'Angleterre a mal aux cotes, on lui 
conseille de se fortifier. 

" Le Roi de Prusse a mal aux reins (Rhin). 

" Le Roi de Piedmont a si souvent crie ' Vive 
ITtalie' qu'il a perdu sa voix (Savoie)." 

If Victoria- Albert had a distinct leaning to Austria, 
their affection for Prussia was vivid, for they had long 
cherished the idea that their eldest girl should marry 
the young Prince, Frederick William. When this 
young man came to the Great Exhibition he saw the 
little Princess Royal, who was then not eleven years 
old. It was a tender age at which to make an indelible 


impression, but so it is recorded. In 1853 the Crown 
Prince, Frederick's father, definitely proposed the 
alliance between his son and England's daughter, and 
then in 1855 Fritz came over here himself to see if the 
flapper of fourteen came up to his expectations, and 
he found her pretty, clever, transparent and quick of 
tongue. She was then two months under fifteen years 
old, an age at which girls to-day are only just begin- 
ning to feel that they belong to the upper school, that 
they must wear their frocks a little longer than their 
younger sisters, and pay special attention to those 
details of the toilet which the younger ones so eagerly 

Whose fault was it that a babe of that age should 
be thrust into womanhood? Left uninfluenced, would 
the Queen have allowed it, she who would not marry 
until she was over twenty? Was it the Prince solely, 
he who had an especial love for his daughter, and 
who had gained a passionate love from her? Did 
he know so little of womanhood that he thought he 
was acting wisely by her ? Or was it Baron Stockmar, 
who, with his un-English ideas, had long pressed 
this thing in his love for Prussia ? To him the Prince 
wrote in September the little Victoria's fifteenth 
birthday being in the following November : 

" Now for the bonne bouche! The event you are 
interested in reached an active stage this morning 
after breakfast. The young man laid his proposal 
before us with the permission of his parents and of 
the King; and we accepted it for ourselves, but 
requested him to hold it in suspense as regards the 

From a Painting by Winterhalter. 


other party until after her confirmation ... he speaks 
of himself as personally greatly attracted by Vicky. 
That she will have no objection to make I regard as 

The Queen also wrote to her uncle, "our wishes 
on the subject of a future marriage for Vicky have 
been realised in the most gratifying and satisfactory 
way. ... Fritz William said he was anxious to speak 
of a subject which he knew his parents had never 
broached to us which was to belong to our Family. 
... I need not tell you with what joy we accepted 
him for our part." 

However, the determination to keep the child in 
ignorance soon broke down, and in a few days Fritz 
during a ride picked a piece of white heather, which he 
gave her, and at the same time made an allusion to his 
hopes and wishes as they rode down Glen Girnock. 

It is not possible to see any reason why such a 
sacrifice should have been necessary. We are told 
over and over again that this was a love match, yet 
what does a girl, who binds herself before she is 
fifteen, know of love? It is true that she did not 
marry until two months after she had passed her 
seventeenth birthday, but even then, to send one's girl 
irrevocably out of the home-nest at that age to an 
alien country, to win or lose everything, is a terrible 
thing. Had the Princess been a woman of twenty- 
one instead of an immature girl, the unhappiness that 
attended her life at the Prussian Court might perhaps 
have been avoided. But it is not likely that her 
mother ever considered such an idea, she urged her 


daughter to bear with things and once was sore 
tempted to remonstrate, but of regret for her own 
share there is no evidence. 

This marriage pleased no one in England but the 
Royal Family, for Prussia seemed a declining force, 
ruled over by a weak King who could not command 
respect. The Prussian Ministers did not like it; 
Bismarck was strongly against it and never ceased 
his enmity to the Princess until after many years when, 
disgraced himself, he begged her intercession, only 
to meet a well-merited rebuff. It was in fact, another 
Stockmar-formed marriage carried out by the Queen- 
Prince through motives of sentiment for Germany, 
but also because they believed Fritz to be a decent, 
upright, sincere young man. 

That Prussia should have demanded that the 
Princess should go to Berlin to be married because 
the dignity of the young Prince would not allow him 
to come to England, was a pure piece of Ministerial 
intrigue, inspired by the hope of upsetting the match, 
for Prince Frederick had betrayed no thought of such 
a thing. Victoria-Albert were righteously indignant, 
and the Queen wrote that they would not hear of 
it, saying, "It is not every day that one marries the 
daughter of the Queen of England." 

The ceremony, therefore, took place at the Chapel 
Royal on January 25th, 1858, with nearly twenty 
German Royalties among the guests, and the poor 
child did not know how to tear herself away from 
the father she adored. " It will kill me to leave dear 
papa," she exclaimed; while at the thought of the 


separation the Queen was also sick at heart, saying 
when the young people had at last driven away : 
" Such sickness came over me, real heartache, when 
I thought of our dearest child being gone, and for 
so long all, all being over ! " 

If only she had kept her dearest child a few years 
longer the pain would have been less. 

The people were enthusiastic enough through the 
festivities, though they deplored the reasons which 
still remained against the match, as may be gathered 
from the words of an old woman who stood at the 
end of Birdcage Walk as the bride and bridegroom 
drove away. Trie crowd was so enormous that people 
were pushed against the carriage, and this old dame 
thrust her face into its window, saying earnestly : 

" Young man, you've got a good wife there ; mind 
you make her a good husband." 

" I will, you may be sure of that I will," emphatic- 
ally responded the young man. 

When they first visited England after their mar- 
riage, both Prince Fritz and Princess Victoria assured 
folk of their great happiness and of the tender affec- 
tion they bore each other, for many sinister reports 
were current in England as to their unhappy life 
together, the reports going so far as the assertion that 
Fritz had used personal violence and thrown his wife 
downstairs. But the Princess's troubles arose at first 
rather from her mother-in-law than from her husband, 
and later from the "man of blood and iron" Bis- 

In 1857 Victoria insisted upon doing her husband 


a justice which the nation had so far refused, by giving 
him the title by Letters Patent of Prince Consort. 
It is a reproach upon the chivalry and fair-mindedness 
of the Englishmen of the day that they did their Queen 
the indignity of refusing any position to her husband. 
For seventeen years he was in the eyes of Europe 
merely the second son of the Duke of Coburg; for 
seventeen years, when he was out of England, personal 
arrangements had to be made to allow him to occupy 
a seat at the same table with his wife; for seventeen 
years he who was spending his whole life in the service 
of England, who was considered good enough to be 
the most intimate associate of the Queen, was not 
thought worthy of anything like equality of rank with 
her. The Queen always wanted some arrangement 
made which should save him and her from the recur- 
ring humiliations of such a situation, and at every sug- 
gestion there was someone's temper to consider ; " In 
the present disaffected state of the House " ; " Seeing 
the temper of the country"; "It is likely to create 
division in the Cabinet"; so the excuses trailed through 
the years. 

A year earlier Victoria had put in an urgent plea 
that the title popularly given of Prince Consort should 
be ratified by Parliament. She saw her boys growing 
up and holding superior positions to their father, defer- 
ring to him only through affection and forbearance. 
" If the children resist, the Queen will have her hus- 
band pushed away from her side by her children, 
and they will take precedence over the man whom 
she is bound to obey; if they are dutiful, she will 


owe her peace of mind to their continued gener- 

In answer to this strong appeal to her Prime 
Minister, Lord Derby, with the greatest humility and 
deference, pointed out " the present unfortunate temper 
of the House of Commons," " the hostile criticisms of 
the Press." So the matter was left for another year, 
and then the Queen took it into her own hands; and 
The Times celebrated the event with a sneering attack 
on the Prince. 

The Queen was keen upon settling her children for 
life, and long before it was necessary suitors came in 
number from all over Europe to look at the little 
Princesses, and the Queen was busy from 1855 gather- 
ing information as to their morals, health, and means. 
From sentimental reasons she would rather have liked 
to bestow a daughter upon the young Prince of Orange, 
thus making reparation in the third generation for the 
disappointment of the first and second. For one Prince 
of Orange had been refused by Princess Charlotte, and 
another by Queen Victoria. Eventually the young 
Louis of Hesse was chosen for the Princess Alice, the 
engagement taking place when the Princess was seven- 
teen, which was certainly an improvement upon the 
age of her sister in like case. 

There are many events which must be left un- 
recorded. The Prince of Wales's tour in Canada and 
America, the Royal visit to Prussia that the beloved 
daughter might once again please parental eyes, the 
visit to Coburg, all these things have been told again 
and again. A great grief was the death of the Duchess 


of Kent early in 1861, who, having had a small opera- 
tion for an abscess under the arm, died through a com- 
plication of troubles a few weeks later on March I5th. 

Two years before his death the Prince Consort had 
agreed to work with the Queen in writing a book upon 
her favourite English monarch, Charles II. Charles 
II. ! think of him as a hero in a Court supposed to be 
renowned through the world for its purity ! For such 
a busy man and woman to undertake such a work it 
was necessary to secure a " ghost," and a young writer 
was found who was ready to gather the information and 
work in the library at Windsor. He was a born book- 
lover, and soon noticed that some valuable old books 
had disappeared. 

"Oh, they are here, there is no doubt of that, and 
they must be found ! " said Albert. 

But they were not there, and it was only by great 
pertinacity that it was discovered that many had been 
borrowed by the " Poor Knights." Two of the most 
valuable were found lying on a round table in the 
window of one of the Knights' little parlours, being 
used to raise the plants to a more advantageous height. 
Years later one of the lost books was noticed by a book- 
seller among a lot which he had captured, and he sent 
it to Her Majesty in case she would like to buy it back 
for the sum of 150. The Queen examined the 
book and wrote as a memorandum for the Librarian : 
" A very nice book but the price ! " 

One morning the Queen came to the library asking 
for a certain volume, and as no real catalogue had been 
made, it was not easy always to discover a book. How- 


ever, going to a side-table, the young writer picked up 
the volume and placed it in Her Majesty's hand. This 
unwonted celerity quite astonished the Queen, who 
exclaimed : " Oh, how clever of you, how very clever 
of you to know just where every book is." The 
librarian bowingly accepted the compliment, and did 
not say that he had been handling the volume the day 

The Queen- Prince, as they grew older, developed 
in the usual way; they became keenly conservative, 
especially in foreign politics, and did not recognise the 
existence of patriots. To their minds, Kossuth was the 
leader of rebels, to respect whom was a grievous sin 
against Austria; the Italian fighters for a United Italy 
were but revolutionaries who ought to be stamped out 
for they were intent upon upholding absolutism in Aus- 
tria. When a Liberal Government came in, they, being 
in deadly fear of Russell and Palmerston, invited to 
form it one whom they thought would be a willing tool, 
Lord Granville. Pam, knowing his own power, agreed 
lightly to the arrangement, but Russell refused, so 
Lord Granville would not act, and Victoria was obliged 
to take her old enemy for a second time as Prime 
Minister. During this year of 1860 the Queen-Prince 
were in misery about foreign affairs ; they would inter- 
fere, and their interference constantly recoiled upon 
themselves ; when things went wrong abroad, they made 
the Queen being spokesman, of course accusations 
which could not be sustained against the Ministers at 
home ; they were enraged with Napoleon, disappointed 
everywhere. When Italy was being unjustly used, they 

c c 


peremptorily demanded neutrality from Palmerston; 
but when Austria began to suffer, they bitterly desired 
action. The last straw was the scheme on the part 
of the Government to abolish the office of Commander- 
in-Chief. They protested strongly and though 
events had largely destroyed the sympathy of their 
leading Ministers, the suggestion was for the time 

With her emotional nature and exuberance of ex- 
pression Victoria must have been a difficult person to 
live with through that year. She had never lost the 
habit of impressing upon those around her when things 
did not go right that she was the Queen, the greatest 
person, not only in the land, but in the house. From 
much that has been put into print it might be con- 
cluded that domestically at least the life of the Prince 
was one of unbroken bliss. That he knew himself to 
be loved is doubtless, but that he had at times to 
endure the sharp edge of his wife's tongue up to the 
last is also a fact. One who was much in contact with 
him during the last three years, often after ex- 
pressed the sorrow he felt at the ultra-regal attitude 
to put it in soft words which would be shown to the 
patient, quiet Consort. Indeed, by that time dis- 
appointment and weariness were pressing hard on the 
man who had striven so unceasingly to do what he 
believed to be right. Duty, family affection, class 
sympathy had all combined to impose unremitting 
work. It is true that this work was largely unneces- 
sary, even sometimes mischievous, but the Queen- 
Prince thought it essential, and the Queen, who was 


always ready to discuss foreign affairs, and to let her 
emotion run riot over the wickedness of her Ministers, 
left all the real thought and work to Albert. He was 
the brain of the partnership, and he was the most loyal 
and dutiful partner any woman ever had. No word 
exists which shows that he ever assumed credit for 
anything done, or asked recognition for the long hours 
of labour, which towards the end of his life he allowed 
to absorb each day. 

He was not happy over his eldest son, upon whom 
he had spent much thought and time, again with the 
best intention, though injudicially. Yet he had had 
a happy life with his children. He had botanised, 
geologised, moth-hunted with them; had shown them 
how to work with their hands; had tried to induce a 
love of literature, and was interested in their music 
and drawing. His idea of literature, however, meant 
heavy reading, and from all that can be gathered about 
the children's education, it seems certain that one thing 
neglected was imagination. Novels and fairy tales 
are never mentioned a fatal omission when dealing 
with some characters. If the girls liked their cooking 
and cleaning, and the boys their carpentering and 
building, as play, there was no reason why they should 
not do it; if they had different tastes it would have 
been better to have filled the world for them with the 
colour and beauty of fancy and human character. But 
the customs of the time were against children, for the 
elders were governed by routine rather than thought; 
thus when the Prince of Wales had reached his seven- 
teenth birthday he was pronounced of age, and the 


Queen with the fatuous folly of the time suddenly 
affected to regard him as a man, telling him that his 
training had been severe in his own interests, and now 
he was to consider himself as his own master. This was 
more sentiment than reality, for the boy, who had been 
brought up with no companions but his own brothers, 
knowing no girls but his own sisters, imbibing no 
thoughts or views which were not as familiar as the 
furniture of his bedroom, was not suddenly left to his 
own devices, though it might have been well if the 
leading strings had been more relaxed. 

When he went to Cambridge he had a tutor, a 
governor, and an equerry to guard him, who all sur- 
rounded him when clothed in his nobleman's cap 
and gown he went as the only student to a lecture, 
though a specially invited audience of undergraduates 
was allowed to be present. The Prince, unhappily, 
had been so tutored in theories of purity that the 
theory of suggestion was exemplified, and in spite of 
his many guardians he had not been long at Cam- 
bridge before he got into some erotic scrape. 

This was a heavy blow to the Prince Consort. The 
thought of his son doing that thing which of all others 
he had been most warned against haunted him, it 
chased sleep away at night and upset his digestion in 
the day, and an endeavour to put matters right was 
one of the last efforts he made before his illness. He 
went down to Cambridge on a horribly cold, wet 
November day, feeling already overburdened with 
lassitude and catarrh, while his depression was black 
as night. He was losing courage and his "pure and 




noble will," to quote from Stockmar, was at failing 

The Prince had many times said that he did not 
mind the thought of death; if only he knew that. his 
loved ones were provided for he would be quite con- 
tent to die. When he last went to Coburg, the horses of 
his carriage took fright and smashed into the gates 
at a level crossing. The coachman was injured and 
one horse was killed, the Prince jumping out just in 
time and falling. The shock threw him into the 
deepest melancholy, and Stockmar exclaimed : 

" God have mercy on us ! If anything serious 
should ever happen to him, he will die ! " 

The day that Albert was starting for home he 
was walking near the Castle with his brother Ernest, 
and at one of the most beautiful spots the Duke saw 
him draw his handkerchief and wipe tears away. " I 
shall never see it again," he said, " never again shall 
I be in Coburg." 

When he had to keep to his room in November, 
1 86 1, he felt from the first that he should not recover, 
but he still went through the despatches and was 
allowed by the Queen to do so. Up to the end the 
Queen's eyes were not penetrating enough to believe 
that her beloved was very ill. December gth was the 
first day he was kept in bed, and on the nth Victoria 
wrote to Leopold lamenting that it was very sad and 
trying for her, that she was well, " and I think really 
very courageous; for it is the first time that / ever 
witnessed anything of this kind though / suffered 
from the same at Ramsgate and was much worse." 


The fact that Albert was suffering from fever, with 
despondency, weakness, and "occasional and invari- 
able wandering," " gave her a very trying time," but 
it seems to have awakened no alarm, none of the 
insight which might have been expected. 

It has been said that the Prince's critical condition 
was purposely kept from the Queen. Can such things 
be kept from the eyes of love, if those eyes are not 
clouded by the veil of self? I for one do not 
believe it possible. The protracted illness of a 
beloved person, especially of one so tuned to 
melancholy as the Prince, would bring unending 
watchfulness, insistent fear, only kept in control by 
hope. Every change would cause joy or horror, and 
a desperate determination to fight for the invalid's 

However, to Queen Victoria death came witK 
terrible suddenness though days before the Prince 
had told his daughter Alice to write to the Princess 
Royal that he was dying and she was left crushed 
and broken-hearted; left without support, the founda- 
tion as well as the walls gone. For Victoria had not 
carried out her early promise as an active Queen; 
she had rested everything but the outer appearance 
of Queenship upon the Prince. When he was dead 
she still clung to him, for in any decision the question 
she would ask was, not "Which course do I think 
right? " but "What would he have done?" 

" It is the beginning of a new reign," she said 
pathetically, and she was right. Those judicial 
memoranda, the long letters to statesmen ! There 


was no one now to draw them up for her or write 
them. It has been said that at first she asked the 
Prince of Wales to do his father's secretarial work, 
and that poor youth, frightened by what he knew it 
meant, dared not undertake it. Others who were con- 
nected with that period have said that Victoria never 
forgave her son for the anxiety his Cambridge affairs 
had caused and which she averred, with her usual 
exaggeration, had brought about Albert's illness. 
However it was, she never would allow the Prince 
to help her in governing, and so made of him just 
a man of idle leisure, thus carrying her theory of 
purity into dreadful practice by sacrificing to it her 
eldest son. In this matter I do not think that she 
consulted the memory of the Prince Consort, at least 
I hope not. 

For a time the Queen let matters, even foreign 
affairs, slide, until Palmerston pointed out that her 
signature was necessary if state affairs were to go on. 
When she once more became active, it took all her 
time and energy to cope alone with work which had for 
so many years been done for her; and even then her 
grasp upon the reins of government was light com- 
pared with what it had been, and her statesmen suffered 
less friction and less interference. 

The lasting work of the Prince Consort was not 
that upon which he had expended his energies and his 
life, for he did not increase the Monarchical power 
in England; it was the pulling of the Crown per- 
manently out of the Georgian mud, and proving that 
those in high places could be virtuous and intellectual. 


His character alone tended to stamp something new 
upon aristocracy, which is always only too inclined 
to believe that position, money and manners are all that 
is needed. The lesson has not been learned with too 
great an avidity, but there is now far deeper respect 
for mind and character than could have been traced 
among fashionable people in the times of Queen 
Victoria's immediate predecessors. 


A'Beckett, Gilbert, 171, 173 
Abercorn, Marquis of, 237 
Aberdeen, Lord, 172, 173, 176, 
178, 182, 188, 216, 314, 347, 

353, 355. 35 8 3 62 > 3^3 

Adelaide, Queen, 37, 116 

Albemarle, Lord, 50, 73 

Albert, Prince Consort, 2 ; charac- 
ter, 3 et seq., 257, 322; child- 
hood, 21 et seq.] purity, 28, 
108; travels, 32, 33; arrival in 
England, 36 ; marriage, 37 ; 
Field-Marshal, 39, 41 ; and the 
Tories, 46 ; levee, 47 ; dancing, 
51; and Melbourne, 54; family 
jars, 56 ; description of, 59 ; first 
speech, 62 ; in the City, 76 ; and 
Lehzen, 78; 81, 85, 95, 97, 98; 
education of children, 103, 113; 
and income tax, 114; 118, 125; 
King Consort, 125; 128; and 
Palmerston, 126 et seq., 129, 
346, 348, 352 ; visits the House, 
134; and the potato, 141; and 
national fasting, 142 ; Palace 
economies, 145, 219 et seq., 
324; as Edward III., 149; goes 
to Ireland, 158 ; and Stockmar, 
163, 170; visit to France, 171 
et seq., 180, 186, 190, 191, 194, 
195, 196, 203, 205, 207; foreign 
policy, 21 1 ; and the brandy, 
221; Governor of Windsor 
Castle, 223; and the police- 
man, 235-6; as sportsman, 233, 
268, 310, 315; and the 

Scotch girls, 239; Greville's im- 
pression of, 244; sermon upon 
at Liverpool, 246; institutes 
Court Circular, 254; and Jasper 
Tomsett Judge, 256 et seq. ; 
as farmer, 261 ; and the rates, 
262 ; and Webling, 263 ; his 
gamekeepers, 264; the case of 
Dean, 264; of Maria Wells, 
265; his etchings, 273; at law, 
276 ; and the theatres, 288 ; and 
"Every Man in His Humour," 
290; love of music, 290; and 
Sir Charles Eastlake, 295 ; and 
Gibson's design, 296; and the 
Chancellorship of Cambridge, 
297 et seq. ; his many titles, 
304; offered post of Com- 
mander-in-Chief, 304 ; his esti- 
mation of his duties, 306; title 
of Prince Consort, 307 ; death 
of his father, 316; visits Prus- 
sia and Coburg, 317; refused 
precedence, 317; at battue of 
deer, 318; foreign servants, 
323 ; a dandy, 324 ; as a master, 
327; stories of, 327; unpunc- 
tual, 330 ; depressed by deaths 
of friends, 334; and Great 
Exhibition, 335 ; and the 
people, 341 ; German habits, 
342 ; peace policy, 348 ; German 
bias, 352; public rage against, 
355 et seq. ; and Crimea, 358 ; 
absolute power in Foreign 
Affairs, 360 ; and the troops, 
362; and Napoleon III., 365; 
in Paris, 367; goes to Cher- 



Albert, Prince Consort continued 
bourg, 370; and the Duke's 
funeral, 375 ; and France, 377 ; 
and engagement and marriage 
of Princess Royal, 378 et seq. ; 
Prince Consort by Letters 
Patent, 382 ; begins book on 
Charles II., 384; and Foreign 
Affairs, 385 ; domestic life, 386 ; 
disappointment over Prince of 
Wales, 387 ; thoughts on death, 
389; last visit to Coburg, 389; 
carriage accident, 389 ; illness 
and death, 389 et seq. 

Alexander of Wurtemburg, 203 

Alfred, Prince, 97, 101 

Alice, Princess, 85, 383, 390 

Ame"lie, Queen of France, 174, 
176, 177, 186, 191, 201 

Anson, George, 30, 77, 79, 92, 
227, 250, 255, 262, 276, 282 

Arbuthnot, Colonel, 329 

Ardverikie, 236 

Argyll, Duke of, 51, 331 

Arthur, Prince, 333 

Asquith, Mr., in 

Athol, Duke of, 234 

Aumale, DUD d', 167, 169, 182 

Austria, Emperor of, 122, 193, 204 


Baker, Mr. James, 225 

Balmoral, 53, 243 

Barnum, the Showman, 293 

Barry, Sir Charles, 157 

Barton, Judge, 138 

Bean, John, 88 

Bentinck, Lord George, 124, 132, 

134, 148 

Berryer, Mons., 152 
Birch, Henry, 104 
Bismarck, Prince, 367, 380, 381 
Blagden, Dr., 80 
Bloomfield, Bishop, 298 
Bordeaux, Due de, 181 
Broadley, Mr. A. M., 153, 273 
Brookfield, W. H., 303 
Brougham, Lord, 123, 138, 151, 

i57 194, 336 
Broughton, Lord, 37, 124, 217, 

Brown, Windsor printer, 278, 279 

Buckingham, Duke of, 217, 314 
Buckingham Palace, 53, 63; 
Royal apartments at, 64 ; 
decoration of, 65 et seq. ; sani- 
tation, 69, 77; thefts at, 331 
Buller, Charles, 151 
Bulwer, Sir Henry, 190, 199 
Bunsen, Baroness, 49, 220, 340 
Burdett-Coutts, Miss, 373, 374 

Callimaki, Princess, 343 
Campbell, Lord, 51, 147, 154, 157, 

33 336 
Cambridge, 299 
Cambridge, Duke of, 187, 291, 

Cambridge, George, Duke of, 

338, 373 

Canning, Lady, 321 
Canterbury, Archbishop of, 73, 74 
Capponi, Marquis, 32 
Cardigan, Lord, 54 
Carlyle, Thos., 297 
Caunt, Ben, 307 
Cavendish, Colonel, 73 
Chantrey, Sir F., 297 
Charles II., 19, 384 
Charlotte, Princess, 383 
Charlotte, Queen, 154 
Cherbourg, 370 
Christina, Queen - Mother of 

Spain, 168, 169, 189 
Claremont, 53, 201, 224 
Clarendon, Lord, 210, 346, 359, 


Clark, Sir James, 80 
Clarke, Mrs. Cowden, 290 
Cobden, Richard, 131 
Coburg, 32, 317, 319 
Collett, , M.P., 265, 267 
Constantine, Grand Duke of 

Russia, 146 

Conyngham, Lady, 108 
Cornelys, Mrs., 155 
Cowley, Lady, 177, 186 


Daniel, George, quoted, 155 et 



Delawarr, Lord, 49, 255 
Derby, Earl of, 347, 353, 358, 

359, 3 8 3 

Devonshire, Duke of, 309 
Dietz, Mons., 212 
Disraeli, Benjamin, 26, 47, in, 

119, 130, 132, 197-8, 314 
Douro, Lady, 145 
Drummond, Edward, 120 

Gladstone, W. E., 357 
Graham, Sir James, 75, 152, 205, 


Granville, Lord, '385 
Greville, Charles, 74, 186, 205, 

208, 338 

Grey, Earl, 237, 349 
Grey, Sir George, 133 
Grisi, Carlotta, 158 
Guizot, Francois, 50, 152, 178, 

188, 202, 353 

Eastlake, Lady, 68, 273, 295 
Eastlake, Sir Charles, 295, 297 
Edward VII., King, 9, 16, 19 
Elphinstone, Lord, i 
Emanuel, Victor, 342 
Enrique, Don, 188, 189 
Ernest, King of Hanover, 83 et 

seq., 90, 122, 127, 204, 239 
Errol, Earl of, 73 
Euge"nie, Empress, 341, 365 et 


Exeter, Marquis of, 314 
Exhibition of 1851, 336 


Hamilton, William, 90 
Hastings, Lady Flora, 28, 109 
Haydon, B. R., 294 
Haydon, Mrs., 294 
Haynau, General, 344 et seq. 
Hayter, Sir George, 279 
11 H. B." (John Doyle), 15, 174 
H. H., caricaturist, 15, 177 
Hicks, Ann, 339 
Hildyard, Miss, 329 
Hume, Joseph, 13, 121, 151 

Featherstonehaugh, , Consul at 

Havre, 201 

Fe"odore, Princess, 365 
Ferdinand of Portugal, 3, 43, 192 
Fitzclarence, Lord Adolphus, 175, 


Flemish Farm at Windsor, 261 
Fox, Lady Augusta, 32 
Francis, John, 88 
Francisco, King of Spain, 43, 

Frederick William of Prussia, 377 

et seq. 
Furniss, Mr. Harry, 330 


George I., 87 

George III., 103, 165 

George IV., 20, 43, 64, 84, 108, 

i5 6 > l6 S 

George, Mr. Lloyd, in 
Gibson, John, 296 

Indian Mutiny, 376 

Infanta of Spain, 176, 186, 190 

Isabella, Queen of Spain, 167 et 

seq., 182, 188, 194, 199 
Isidore, the Queen's hairdresser, 



Jerome, Prince, 365, 368 

Jerrold, Douglas, 67 

Jocelyn, Lady, 145 

Joinville, Due de, 171, 177, 183 

Judge, J. A. F., 277, 279, 281, 

Judge, Jasper Tomsett, 250 et 

seq., 340 
Judge, Mrs., 281 


Kemble, Fanny, 204 
Kent, Duchess of, 14, 44, 46, 
206, 384 



Kingston, Duchess of, 152 

Koh-i-noor, 287 

Kossuth, Louis, 385 

Kyle and Kerle, architects, 269 

Lamartine, de, 152 

Lamington, Lord, 298 

Landseer, Sir Edwin, 288 

Lansdowne, Lord, 349 

Lee, Sir Sidney, 173, 178, 195 

Leech, John, 15 

Lehzen, Baroness, 35, 43 et seq., 

4 6 , 55> 7 8 , 2l8 
Leiningen, Prince, 237, 319 
Leopold, Grand Duke, 32 
Leopold, King of the Belgians, 

2, 3, ii et seq., 26, 85, 122, 

126, 129, 164, 170, 180, 190, 

192, 196, 204, 215, 365 
Lieven, Madame de, 202, 214 
Lilly, Mrs., 80, 81, 92, 93 
Liverpool, Lord, 45 
Locock, Dr., 80 
London, Bishop of, 73, 154 
London, Lord Mayor of, 76 
Louis of Hesse, 383 
Louis Philippe, 122, 129, 158, 164, 

167, 169, 172, 181, 186, 190 et 

seq., 200, 203, 334, 348 
Louis, Princess, 203 
Louise, Queen of the Belgians, 

14, 129, 170, 171, 176, 180, 192, 

3 J 9, 334 

Lyell, Sir Charles, 244, 327 
Lyndhurst, Lord, 157 
Lyttelton, Lady, 60, 85, 109, 229, 



Macnaughten, Daniel, 120 
McNeile, Rev. Hugh, 246 et seq. 
Macpherson of Cluny, 236 
Malmesbury, Lord, 124, 329, 

349, 353 

Marble Arch, 64 
Maria of Portugal, Queen, 212 
Martin, Sir Theodore, 8, 30, 77, 

214-15, 360 
Mary, Princess, 343, 365 

Mathew, Father, 94 
Melbourne, Lord, 30, 33, 43, 52, 

53, 73, 79, 82, 96, 107, 108, 

129, 138, 151, 172, 238, 250 
Mendelssohn, Felix, 291 
Metternich, Prince, 202 
Michael, Grand Duke of Russia, 

Middleton, Windsor printer, 279, 


Millet, Jean Francois, 370 
Milnes, Richard Monckton, 151, 

J 59 

Minto, Lord, 203 
Montpensier, Due de, 176, 186, 


Montpensier, Duchesse de, 203 
Morpeth, Lord, 82 
Munster, Lord, 222 
Murray, Hon. Charles, 219 


Napoleon, Louis (after Napoleon 

III.), 202, 205, 335, 346, 364 

et seq., 377, 385 
Narvaez, General, 200 
Nash, John, 64 
Nemours, Due de, 155, 170, 202, 


Nemours, Duchesse de, 155 
Neville, Ralph, 255 
Newcastle, Duke of, 355 
Nicholas, Czar of Russia, 163, 

181, 183 et seq., 193, 208, 216, 

353, 360, 364 
Neild, James, 287 
Norfolk, Duke of, 62, 141, 237 
Normanby, Lady, 348 
Normanby, Lord, 212, 239, 348 
Northumberland, Duke of, 298 

O'Connell, Daniel, 113, 122, 125, 

136 et seq., 151, 238 
Orange, Prince of, 383 
Orleans, Duke of, 153 
Orsini, Felice, 371, 372 
Osborne, 53, 225 et seq. 
Otho of Greece, King, 212 
Oxford, Edward, 88 



Packer, Mrs., 92 

Paget Family, The, 54 

Paget, Lord Alfred, i, 53 

Palmerston, Lord, 3, 73, 129, 
134, 151, 162 et seq., 188 et 
seq., 207 et seq., 250, 345, 352 
et seq., 364-5, 371, 376, 386, 391 

Palmerston, Lady, 108, 164 

Paris, Comte de, 177 

Parker, Samuel, 64 

Pate, Robert, 333 

Paxton, Sir Joseph, 338 

Peel, Lady, 294 

Peel, Sir Robert, 12, 47, 52, 62, 
74 et seq., 82, 94, 96, 99, 106 et 
seq., no, 113, 114 et seq., 118, 
123 et seq., 128, 132, 134, 136, 
138, 151, 152, 156, 161, 171, 
!73> *94> J 97> 206, 255, 260, 
294. 309, 3*4, 333 

Phipps, Colonel, 282, 295, 348 

Pius IX. A 122, 204 

Powis, Lord, 297 

Praslin, Due de, 200 

Prussia, Crown Prince, 378 

Prussia, King of, 49, 85, 94, 122, 
164, 192, 203, 316 

Punch, 57 et passim 

Pyat, Felix, 368 

Queensberry, Duke of, "Old Q.,' 

Quillinam, Edward, 301 


Raikes, Thomas, 46 

Ratsey, Nurse, 93 

Redding, Cyrus, 136 

Resterlitz, Countess, 240 

Rianzares, Duke of, 168 

Richmond, Duke of, 124 

Roebuck, J. A., 214, 355 

Rollin, Ledru, 207 

Rosenau, 32, 317 

Russell, The Hon. G. W. E. 

quoted, 26 
Russell, Lady John, 342 

Russell, Lord John, 47, 62, 67, 
82, 123, 125, 128, 133-4, J 3 8 
140, 151, 184, 195 et seq., 206, 
208, 244, 296, 348 et seq., 353, 

357, 359, 37i 5 385 
Rutland, Duke of, 309 

St. Aulaire, Comte de, 152 
St. James's Palace, 63 
Sandwich, Countess of, 54, 73 
Saunders, Inspector of the Palace, 

Saxe-Coburg, Alexandrina, 

Duchess of, 319 
Saxe-Coburg, Augustus, Prince 

of, 170, 203 

Saxe-Coburg, Clementine, Prin- 
cess of, 170, 202-3 
Saxe-Coburg, Dowager Duchess 

of, 21, 22, 203 
Saxe-Coburg, Duchess of, 21 
Saxe-Coburg, Duke of, 9 et seq., 

21, 164, 316 
Saxe-Coburg, Ernest, Duke of, 

9 et seq., 23, 29, 47, 48, 169, 

188, 204, 258, 365, 389 
Saxe-Coburg, Leopold of, 170, 

176, 188, 189 
Saxe-Coburg, Princess Victoria 

of, 171 

Saxony, King of, 164, 183 
Scotland, 51 
Senior, Nassau, 363 
Seymour, General Sir Francis, 27, 

30, 73 

Seymour, Lady, 31 
Shakespeare's birthplace, 271, 289 
Sibthorpe, Colonel, 337 
Skerritt, Miss, 273, 279 
Smith, Sydney, 299 
Stafford, Augustus, 298, 299 
Stanley, Hon. Miss, 145 
Stanley, Lord, 198, 214 
Stannary Courts, 223, note 
Stockmar, Baron, 14, 24, 63, 92, 

103, 165, 196, 198, 203, 304, 

351-2, 358, 378, 389 
Strange, William, 274, 275 
Stuart, Lord Dudley, 186 
Sutherland, Duchess of, 145, 236 
Szymborski, 21 



Tennyson, Lord, 297 
Thackeray, W. M., 81 
Thumb, Tom, 292 et seq. 
Titiens, Mme., 220 
Trapani, Count, 188, 192 


Uxbridge, Earl of, 54 

Van Amburgh, 287 

Victor Emanuel, 377 

Victor Hugo, 368 

Victoria and Albert Museum, 339 

Victoria and Albert yacht, 51 

Victoria, Princess Royal, 73, 81, 

90, 95 IS 1 * 2 53 3 2 9. 37 1 . 377 
et seq., 390 

Victoria, Queen, suitors, i et seq., 
22, 24; quoted, 27, 30, 33; 
marriage, 37 et seq., 41 ; as 
hostess, 48 et seq. ; dancing, 
51; daily routine, 52; and 
Lehzen, 55, 78; matrimonial 
quarrels, 56; description of, 59; 
an ingenue, 61 ; character, 71 ; 
first child, 72 et seq., 84; and 
London, 86; and pretended 
attempts at assassination, 88; 
wifely exactions, 97, 98; views 
on education, 102 ; and Peel, 
106 et seq. ; and the news- 
papers, 109; opens the Session, 
in, 113; and income tax, 114; 
popularity, 116; Windsor sta- 
bles, 118; and light sovereigns, 
12 1 ; and Corn Laws, 124 et 
seq. ; and the Catholics, 127, 
128; and Palmerston, 129, 162 
et seq., 198 et seq., 207 et seq., 
34 6 . 35 2 > 355; and O'Connell, 
136 et seq. ; and Ireland, 138, 
158 et seq. ; and national fast- 
ing, 142 et seq. ; and Palace 
bread, 145; fancy-dress balls, 
149 et seq. ; and Brougham, 157, 
162; visit to France, 171 et 
seq. ; and King Leopold, 180, 

187, 190; and Louis Philippe, 
191 et seq., 201 ; and the Whig 
Government, 195 ; and birth of 
Princess Louise, 203; and the 
Chartist riot, 205; her homes, 
218 et seq. ; at Brighton, 225; 
her sentiment, 228 ; her yacht 
in collision, 229; and Scotland, 
230 et seq. ; at Inverary, 235 ; 
at Ardverikie, 236, 237, 239 ; at 
Fleetwood, 241 ; at Dalkeith, 
243 ; at Balmoral, 243 et seq. ; 
and Jasper Tomsett Judge, 250 
et seq. ; her servants, 271 ; her 
pensioners, 272 ; her etchings, 
273 ; goes to law, 276 ; and Mrs. 
Judge, 282 ; strange presents 
received by, 285 et seq. ; the 
Koh-i-noor, 287; and the 
theatres, 288; and Shake- 
speare's plays, 289; and news- 
paper reports, 291 ; and high art, 
292 ; and Tom Thumb, 292 et 
seq. ; and Haydon, 295 ; and Sir 
C. Eastlake, 295 ; and Richard 
Wyatt, 296; at Cambridge, 299 
et seq. i dress, 300, 324, 325; 
at the installation, 300 ; foreign 
singing, 304 ; command of the 
army, 304; travels by train, 
308 ; visits her subjects, 308 ; 
opening the Royal Exchange, 
310; her satisfaction, 312 ; visits 
Marquis of Exeter, 318; 
responds to an address, 318; at 
Stowe, 314; at Strathfield- 
saye, 316; visits Prussia, 316; 
grieved at Prussian dis- 
courtesy to Albert, 317; visits 
Coburg, 317; admiration of 
Coburg peasants, 318; at battue 
of deer, 319; weeps, 320; 
foreign servants, 323 ; as a mis- 
tress, 327 ; loses her keys, 329 ; 
want of punctuality, 330; acci- 
dent to Crown, 331; broken 
harness in a procession, 331; 
grief at death of Peel, of Duke 
of Cambridge, and Louis 
Philippe, 334; dislike of Napo- 
leon III., 335; delight over 
Great Exhibition, 338; City and 
State Balls, 340; and Empress 
Eugenie, 341; and Victor 



Victoria, Queen continued 

Emanuel, 343; and General 
Haynau, 346; peace policy, 348 ; 
demands on Foreign Minister, 
350 ; programme for Foreign 
policy, 351; rebukes Ministers, 
3535 opens Parliament, 357; 
sufferings, 357; and Crimea, 
358; absolute power in Foreign 
affairs, 360; and her troops, 
362; and the Victoria Cross, 
363; friendship with Napoleon 
III., 364; laments Albert's 
absence, 365; receives Emperor 
and Empress of France, 366; 
in Paris, 367; goes to Cher- 
bourg, 370; fear of French 
intrigue, 373 ; and Duke of 
Wellington, 373; and the 
Duke's statue, 375; and the 
Duke's funeral, 375; Indian 
Mutiny, 376; naval defences, 
377; Austria and Prussia, 377; 
engagement of Princess Royal, 
378; marriage of Princess 
Royal, 480; looks for suitors 
for her daughters, 383 ; in 
Windsor library, 384 ; new 
Government, 385 ; and foreign 
affairs, 385 ; her emotional 
nature, 386; and her son, 388, 

391 ; and her husband's illness, 
389; his death, 390 


Wales, Prince of, 51, 74, 82, 91, 
93. 9S ^o, 113, IS 1 . r 53> 22 3 
348, 358, 387, 39 1 

Walewski, Count, 348, 349, 358 

Walpole, Horace, quoted, 152 

Webling, Richard, 263 

Wells, Maria, 265 

Wellington, Duke of, 12, 13, 45, 
81, 85, 95, 108, 118, 130, 136, 
138, 156, 172, 184, 191, 205, 214, 

303. 305, 338, 353, 373 ^ se( L' 
West, Sir Algernon, 75 
Whewell, Master of Trinity, 299 
White, Queen's Solicitor, 275, 

276, 282 
Whittington, Windsor printer, 


William IV., 84, 109, 165 
Windsor Castle, 61, 63, 310, 328, 


Wood, Charles, 349, 353 
Wordsworth, William, 301, 302 
Wyatt, M. C., 374 
Wyatt, Richard, 296 
Wylde, Colonel, 73, 88, 89 





MAY 2 8 1975 



DA Jerrold, Clare 

554 The married life of 

J6 Queen Victoria